language resources

Words on your mind – outsourcing

Oh dear. I’m slightly concerned to see that the word outsourcing has been getting a lot of attention in the Macmillan Dictionary lately. Outsourcing is the kind of word that tends to come up in the same context as downsizing, rationalizing and redundancy. Companies seeking to cut costs often downsize their workforce and then outsource the tasks they used to do. Supposedly, this is cheaper, because they only have to pay for work done, not all the overheads associated with having a permanent staff member (of course it often doesn’t work out that way, as the companies realize a year or two later, and then start rehiring their own staff).

I hope all the attention on this word in the Dictionary isn’t a bad sign…

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Sharon Creese


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