I”m a believer that Words Matter and particularly that we are succumbing to Orwellian doublespeak in more and more areas of our lives. In politics, it’s the belief that every issue, no matter how simple has to be approached with the latest buzzword “nuance”. In education, they’ve exchanged the subject of English for “Communication Arts”. In business, it’s management consulting jargon.
Forbes.com reviews Death Sentences : How Cliches, Weasel Words and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language by Don Watson, which is devoted to some of the same thoughts:
Watson’s marvelous polemic, in defense of straight talking, was inspired by his previous career as a political speechwriter in Australia and by the horror of realizing that his 12-year-old daughter had been assigned, in an English class, to write an essay as a PowerPoint demonstration. PowerPoint! In English class! How shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Here are three bullet points.
Don’t dismiss Watson’s complaints as pedantry or crankiness. Words have meaning and “weasel words” cover up a lot.
By way of Newmark’s Door