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Bon Journal

Jargon busters

Every profession has its own jargon. As an editor, I'm not afraid to ask stupid questions. As a consultant, I did not dare ask.

The open tread staircase I've long dreamed of having is actually a staircase with open risers. The tread is the step and the riser is the vertical bit.

"You need to determine if you require planning permission. But you still need building control." What the ????

"You will need to serve a notice for the party wall. And you should also get a Lawful Development Certificate." Huh????

One architect tried to make it more transparent by giving me a booklet containing a flowchart of the process from design to implementation. It was just as opaque.

After the architects, I visited a music reproduction studio in north London.

"There's not enough bleed in the inlay." The what?

"You have to make sure there's at least 3 millimetres of bleeding otherwise the machine may chop into the inlay." Oh - you mean, margin!

"You should have a separate text layer which is 600 dpi."

Please. Give me a break. Come back down to earth. And talk to me in my language. I may be your next customer after all.

10 March 2002 Sunday