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June 30, 2008


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David Linke

There was a great book written and published in Australia by Don Watson, a past speech writer for the Australian Prime Minister, called Death Sentence.

Death Sentence is a fantastic short read about how corporations, governments and the community use language to "weasel" out actually saying anything.

It is worth the read

David Meerman Scott

Hi David L,

Sounds like a good read. I'll pick on up.

David S

Eero Brillantes

Politics of survival dictates the dictum "if you cannot convince them, confuse them". Sad but true.

Whenever I give lectures on political or governance communication I always start with the quip "people could not care a rat's ass what politicians want to say. What registers is the relevance of what people want to hear from the politicians".

Its a little bit crass but the point being to properly communicate governance is not to talk alien. Connection, empathy, understanding are operative terms needed to make the world a better place.

Otherwise that Robin Williams line applies: Politicians are like diapers. They need to be replaced often coz their bound to be full of shit. Or something along that line.

Eero Brillantes

Susan Muegge

Love this. After teaching technical writing then re-entering the marketing field, I have seen so many instances of gobbledygook it's unbelievable.

What gets me is when people ask for the opaque language because they think it makes them look smarter. If you ask me, the writer who can be concise and express a complex idea in a way that allows anyone and everyone to understand it is far more skillful than the one who is dependent upon terms like impactful and cutting edge strategic mindshare policy.

Judy Peterson

We have lots of acronyms in Real Estate and other jargon that doesn't enlighten the consumer. A good reminder to be on the look out for such confusions. Just browsed your ebooks and ordered your new "New Rules" at Amazon. Found you at Website Grader - a great tool to help us neophytes. Thanks!


This is a great post. The Dutch side of St. Maarten is currently seeking independence from the Netherlands Antilles and could really use a lesson from your book and the LGA. The island is currently working on a constitution and hosting various public forums and public speaking engagements to inform and get the locals involved. Sadly, most St. Maarteners are overwhelmed with the process and choose not to participate because they are bombarded with gobbledygook from politicians and lawyers.

Jacqueline @ Redpig

That's where I'm moving! Thank goodness someone thought to hold their local government responsible to their words and actions.


Shannon @ SuckyFish

So true. It's absurd though how meaningless phrases become part of our lexicon but still have little value. If I have to hear one more person talk to me about "ideating" like it's a real thing my head will explode.

Kevin Grossman

Thanks, David! We have to constantly hound clients to kill the jargon. Latest "asynchronous communication" - ghastly nonsense.

Reseller Hosting

thanks man..check it.Video technology was first developed for cathode ray tube television systems, but several new technologies for video display devices have since been invented. Standards for television sets and computer monitors have tended to evolve independently, but advances in computer performance and digital television broadcasting and recording are producing some convergence.


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