Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cliches, Weasel Words and Management-Speak

Newsweek has an online exclusive, "Attack of the Weasel Words," a review of Death Sentences: How Clich├ęs, Weasel Words and Management-Speak are Strangling Public Language, by Australian author, Don Watson.

As a writer, one of my jobs is to scour any document until it is entirely free of what Watson calls weasel words. I think the people who use this jargon believe they're sounding smart. The fact is, they're sounding unintelligible and needlessly obtuse. An example from Watsons book is a fine example"

Just as the skill and processes are not compartmentalized in the creation process, the evaluation of outcomes will occur against a background of understanding that separation of outcomes into discrete components is subordinate to the evaluation of the total process as a comprehensive outcome.”
Is there anyone on the planet who knows what that paragraph means? If someone does, they need not call me, but should consider calling the nearest linquistic therapist for an urgent appointment.