Advisors or salespeople?

What should we call those people who work in banks and offer us suggestions as to where we should save/invest our money? The conventional term is ‘bank advisor’ [Bankberater_in]. But Michael Opoczynski warns us that this phrase is quite inappropriate. As is ‘banking charges’ [Gebühren].

These people are salespeople. They do not advise. They sell. They aim to make a profit. And these are ‘banking prices’, not ‘charges’.

…or words to that effect. Opoczynski, anchorman for ZDF’s consumer protection show, Wiso, was speaking last night on Menschen2008.

p.s. An even more analysable, although far less conventional, term for domesticating/sanitizing/recategorizing this job: ‘Relationship Manager (for) Corporate Clients‘.

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One Comment to “Advisors or salespeople?”

  1. Nice. Or how social relations of power, domination and epxloitation are visible in the choice of vocabulary (borrowed this from Faircloughish ;-) literature, not my own sublime ;-) finding). Got another cute ;-) one for you. Fresh-read today: Did you know that, when reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the BBC instructs its journalists to use the word “barrier” despite the fact that it is mostly a towering concrete wall? Jerry Timons, head of region, Africa and Middle East says “The Israelis tend not to call it a wall because they see it has connotation of Berlin Wall, negative connotations that they don’t want to put across. But the Palestinians may well call it a wall.” Asked whether it was part of BBC strategy to avoid using the protagonists’ language regardless of accuracy, Timmins said “We are sensitive towards our audiences…you try to choose the term that is lesss loaded and more literal and closer to the object or issues you are trying to get across” (from an unpublished paper by Barkho & Richardson). BBC guidelines state: ” BBC journalists should try to avoid using terminology favored by one side or another in any dispute”. Now, who’s favoring who?If ‘d be blocked by a wall I couldn’t possibly break through, regardless of several furious, desparate attempts, and someone suggested to me I call it a barrier, I’d get wildly furious and mad. You can’t break through a wall, but you can overcome a barrier, no?

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