Isabella Zanni Rosiello

About Bureaucratic Language

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Administration; Bureaucracy; Bureaucratic Language; Right of access; Transparency.

The language adopted by Administration in writing legislation and legal documents is often cryptic, with a multitude of technicalities, legal terms, stereotyped expressions and archaic vocabulary. In the early 90s of the last century a right of access act was passed, i.e. with a law on the right of citizens to be given information about the legal procedures in which they are concerned and to view any documents of their interest. Since then the idea has spread that a text is accessible when it is written in a plain style with terms taken from everyday language. However, it has been hard to make this idea turn into practice, as there has been much resistance and little progress about it. Civil servants working in the Administration have often been distrustful of those considering transparency as the core of their work and have been reluctant to question their long-established usage of a language hinting at an idea of belonging and of a specific body identity.

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