Monday, 2 January 2012

Words and Phrases that Annoy Don Watson

I haven't been posting about the words and phrases that annoy me lately, even though 'skillset' has been slowly driving me up the wall. Instead, I've been reading a book called Bendable Learnings in which Don Watson, formerly Paul Keating's speechwriter, lays out in masterly detail just how clogged with jargon and verbal piffle public life has become. Here are some examples from the chapter on education:









Watson has also just written an excellent article in The Monthly on the damage this kind of language is doing to education in this country. Read it and weep.

7 comments:

  1. WTF? My head hurts from reading the first three images. I despair for humanity :-(

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  2. I will post you a packet of Disprin, Nurse - Happy New Year

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  3. May I have something a little stronger?

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  4. zmkc -- have you read DOUBLESPEAK by William Lutz? He was one of my professors at Rutgers --a great champion of plain language. I know the book got some recognition over here, but I'm not sure if it made any kind of impact outside the US. Anyway, I highly recommend it.

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  5. I will search that out, Chris - or will I? Do I want to be further depressed?

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  6. It is a pretty entertaining book -- it uncovers a lot and pokes fun at a lot, too. Jay Leno and George Carlin are known to have referred to it from time to time, so it couldn't bring you down too much.

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  7. Okay, will seek it out. And I'll send you the bill for tissues, if it turns out that it makes me cry.

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