Mudcat Café message #4070666 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132499   Message #4070666
Posted By: Joe_F
03-Sep-20 - 06:21 PM
Thread Name: BS: Language Pet Peeves
Subject: RE: BS: Language Pet Peeves
IRRC, "human resources" was invented by Paul Goodman, who thought "personnel" was dehumanizing. You can't win.

"Personnel" comes from French, and contrasts with "materiel" (I don't know how to do the acute accent in this medium) = material resources. Thus, "human resources" is a pretty exact translation of it.

The original application of the pair seems to have been military.