Plain Language? Soooo Last Millennium!

by Chikashi

Since the GNU came to power, NED grantees have taken advantage of greater space to push for comprehensive constitutional reform that takes into account long-term political needs necessary to securing a durable transition to democracy.

I have always thought that politics usually lacks content.  Reading something like the above does not help.

The incomprehensible rhetoric, I suppose, helps to mask the lack of content.  The copious words must represent something meaningful and perhaps even important, no?

What is this virus that has been ravaging plain language in North America, and more recently in the UK, as well?  It seems to be an epidemic in commerce and politics.  Does anyone actually understand what anyone is saying these days?

Last autumn, when the current president of my American alma mater announced her plan to step down in order to return to the faculty, the chancellor, who is a fellow alumnus, sent a letter to inform alumni and others.  Subsequently, the chancellor sent a few more letters in order to update everyone on the recruitment efforts.  These letters were long and severely infected by this virus.  They were embarrassing.

If this were a business school, then I would not have been shocked or even surprised.  However, it is a liberal arts school and even has a decent English Department.  That chancellor should get the English Department to edit all his external missives when he is writing on behalf of the University.

It is a small wonder how these people actually come up with this sort of rubbish.  I wonder whether they themselves actually understand what they are saying.

It must be a virus.  Or, perhaps I’m terribly démodé.

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