I think every profession has it’s own language, a short hand to make it easier to communicate with others who do the same work and, probably a way to make things a little mysterious for people not in the know. Just look at all the tech industry words and phases that have leaked out into the language. Educators, however, often go overboard with the "educationese" as described in the article on the front page of today’s Washington Post.

For example, when I started teaching we used to refer to students who were learning English as their second language as ESL (English as a second language) students, a fairly common term around the country. Now they are "LEP (limited English-proficient) students or ELL (English language learners), depending on whom — and when — you ask". Or in our district, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages).

On the whole however, I agree with this assessment of the issue of using educationese in public:

"These are terms that will drive anyone to complete hysteria," said Robert Hartwell Fiske, publisher of the Vocabulary Review and author of the forthcoming "Dictionary of Disagreeable English." "If teachers want to talk in those terms among themselves, they’re welcome to — perhaps sequestered — but introducing children to them is criminal, dehumanizing," he said. "You can’t have kids going around spouting this stuff."

Very often I’ll be in a meeting and someone will start spouting phrases and acronyms (we LOVE acronyms!) and I’ll start making a list just to see how many items I don’t know. Beyond all the new and revised phrases that go with the massive rise in standardized testing (blame the US Department of Education for much of this new vocabulary), the worst alteration has to be the move from library to "media center". Or is media center the new name for my television. I’m so confused – and I work here!