Comment The policy on “welfare areas” is beginning to resemble a bad parody – What has happened to the government’s clear communication goals?

If the old signs are true, the last word on the welfare area has not yet been said, writes Ville Eloranta, a journalist in charge of language maintenance at HS.

Language is a key part of the exercise of power. This has once again become clear as the public and cabinets have been folded to hide what is used to refer to future administrative units in social and health care.

Minister of Family and Basic Services Krista Kiuru (sd) said at a Sote event on Tuesday that the so-called Sote provinces has been decided to name welfare areas.

That’s why the joy burst. Social media, for example, has been filled with ridiculous comments asking, among other things “Nausea areas” after.

The government is also obviously controversial. The center is worth the long-standing and traditional provinceword and does not seem to like it welfare area at all.

“Say a flower pot, but it’s a province,” replied the chairman of the center Annika Saarikko To the HS supplier To Marko Junkkari.

Welfare area is not just a word for comics. Center for Indigenous Languages announced its views on Thursday, which leaves no room for interpretation: welfare area is not a clear and objective name.

Welfare is an abstract and ambiguous word that does not neutrally describe the tasks of an administrative unit, but refers to the objectives of the administration. In addition, it is widely used in commercial contexts, such as sports and beauty services, ”the statement said.

Welfare area is also considered derogatory in tone. “While social and health services and rescue work will promote the well-being of residents, there will also be people living in the areas who are not doing well.”

One can only wonder what has happened to the government’s clear communication goals.

What makes the situation particularly strange is that over the years, the Center for Finnish Languages ​​has been consulted on the subject several times and sometimes even listened to. One detail mentioned in the statement seems to be a parody: after the language experts had expressed their negative opinion, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health asked a follow-up question – what would be a “welfare province”?

One can only wonder what has happened government program and government communication strategy the stated objectives of clear communication.

If you are old the signs are true welfare area the last word has not yet been uttered.

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has dealt with in recent years quite a stack of cases, the solutions of which have mostly led to a change in bad administrative language practices. At the same time, the Ombudsman has almost systematically pointed out that this broth would not have been available if the Center for Domestic Languages ​​had been listened to.

It is to be hoped that the Ombudsman will not again have to intervene in matters which should gradually be self-evident. Nor would it be bad to strengthen the expertise of ministries in language matters as well.

The author is the language editor of HS.


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