Master Your Message Blog

gobbledygook

Janet Yellen PresentationJanet Yellen, the current Chair of the US Federal Reserve, is a great example of the rot that has infected today’s communication. It’s unfortunate that a woman who holds arguably the highest financial office in the United States, a role that serves as a role model for ambitious women in the workforce, does such an atrocious job of communicating on just about any level.

She is just the sort of role model you do NOT want to have in a high visibility position.

In fact, her presentations are so indecipherable that one wonders if they’re created solely for the purpose of hiding the fact that she (or the US Federal Reserve) has absolutely no idea of what’s going on with the economy or how to begin to take steps to change course. This is most likely the truth. The question is whether they’re aware how much trouble they’re in, or not (and are maliciously trying to hide the fact).

The message I get as a result is that she’s incompetent. As in advertising, “Perception is reality.”

A Prime Example

In any event, let’s get back to her latest offering on the subject, Here is a paragraph from one of her latest speeches:
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ukraine-diplomacy

John Kerry, US Secretary of State

OK … I’m generalizing. Surprise me by sending me an example of a wonderful exception!

There was a terrific article out on the CBC online website yesterday by Neil Macdonald. I like his writing generally, but this one shone! It was about the use of gobbledygook.

Here’s how Webster’s Collegiate dictionary defines it: wordy and generally unintelligible jargon.

I have a client who I’m designing a website for, who insists on shoving great big twenty-five cent words into the simple text I write and changes my contractions back to long form (“we’ve” back to “we have.”)

The problem is: We don’t talk like that.

So who is it you think you’re trying to be?

Here’s another definition: language that is Read More …