Wednesday, 30 June 2010

THE NEW MANIFESTO AND LANGUAGE


By Indie Dinala, postgraduate student in Science, Society and Development at IDS.

Language was one of the big subjects that came up at the New Manifesto launch on 15 June. One criticism was the "social-science" language used in the Manifesto document.

The new manifesto is definitely the way forward. Especially in that it is responsive to social justice, the ever-changing globalised world and other important 3D issues it raises that can contribute to sustainable development.

One interesting thing to me, among other concerns raised by stakeholders at the launch, was the issue of the language of the New Manifesto which kept surfacing from many commentators. This issue, though seeming trivial, may require serious attention to avoid the new manifesto ending up lying on the policy makers' shelves, gathering dust like many other documents before it - that is, if it survives being thrown out of the window.

Obviously what this means is that the new manifesto will need to be spelled out in as clear and simple terms as possible, in order to make it easier for anyone, from a busy politician to individuals at grassroots level, to grasp its very good concepts at a glance. Nevertheless, one needs to be cognisant of the fact that it may not be possible to satisfy everyone as diffrent people have different expectations.

(Image: Manifesto word cloud from www.wordle.net)

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