We launched this “On the Job” series to find out how people use English in their working lives. We talk to them about jargon in their profession, writing on the job and what advice they’d give to learners of English.
Who do you work for?
The Bookworm/The Bookworm International Literary Festival (BLF)
What is your position?
Director of BLF
How important is being able to speak or write good English in your job?
Very important. All of our events are in English. We sell English-language books. Our audience is still mainly an expatriate one. For the festival, we work with international authors using English as the lingua franca. As a literary organization and lovers of the written word, it’s important for us to use English appropriately in all of our materials.
Does your field have its own particular jargon? Could you share some of the more unusual terms with us?
We use different publishing industry jargon (galleys, spec, etc.) and event jargon (tech, av, etc.) but nothing super unique. Because we work in an open-plan and bilingual environment, I find we all often use a hybrid Chinglish (if that counts as jargon).
Do you ever ask another person to proofread your work?
Always. I am in the running for the worst typos award. Plus, our standard is British English so as an American I always need an extra eye to help change all my z’s to s’s or to help throw in extra vowels.
What mistakes or phrases in English do you find most annoying? Why?
Pointless abbreviations and text jargon. Honestly, the time you save writing “u” instead of “you” is nothing compared to the pain it gives my eyes.
Would you like to add anything you think our readers would find interesting?
No one speaks – or writes – perfect English, so don’t let that fear get in your way of practicing. Speak as much as possible to as many people as possible. Plus read more books!
Want to hear what some of the other interviewees said? Head over to the On the Job series home page here.