Is Corporate Gobbledygook the Cause of Economic Apocalypse?
Does it never end? The words drained of all meaning? Death sentences? Weasel words? Most probably the cause of the current economic apocalypse and the bane of true understanding in corporate communications is corporate gobbledygook.
If people have no idea as to what you do or sell, why would they buy? Is this the true cause of the economic meltdown? Corporate gobbledygook? To crib a great quote from the Hall-of-Fame gobbledygooker, Alan Greenspan …
I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
That’s the retro-strategic essence of corporate gobbledygook. It was pioneered by the FED and then cribbed by tech writers. Now it’s a pandemic.
David Meerman Scott has been writing about this for years. I’d say that David Meerman Scott and corporate gobbledygook are synonymous.
In David’s latest revolutionary fomentation called Making Your Writing Easy to Understand, he takes a kindler, gentler approach to outing the gobbledygook offender. David actually tries to help them and re-writes the impossible-to-understand-what-the–Hades-they-do copy to something their buyer might actually be able to comprehend. Something a buyer might search for, find and then become a customer of theirs only because it’s simple, understandable, clear and unique.
Ernest Hemingway had a clear understanding and vision of writing simply and effectively when he discussed the four rules of writing he learned as a journalist at the Kansas City Star.
Hemingway’s Four Rules (well, not really, they were actually the Kansas City Star’s)
- Use short sentences.
- Use short first paragraphs.
- Use vigorous English.
- Be positive, not negative.
“Those were the best rules I ever learned for the business of writing,” Hemingway said in 1940. “I’ve never forgotten them. No man with any talent, who feels and writes truly about the thing he is trying to say, can fail to write well if he abides with them.”
These rules still work.
Now … to the more important question. Why has David never used the “About Steve Bio” as a “how-to” example of clear, concise, easy-to-understand writing? It’s a mystery.