Happy holidays, one and all. During the slow drift into the warm fuzz of overindulgence and blissful alarm clock ignorance that occurs at this time of year, a press release in my inbox has somewhat cut through the haze…
As a copywriter for major global brands, friend to those employed by a range of hefty corporations and with a girlfriend working for a well known US firm, I have come to a simple conclusion - The bigger the company, the more bollocks its employees talk.
I’ve heard it all: People want to “touch base” about the “message” they need “wordsmithed”. Others simply want to “reach out” regarding an “idea shower” on “verticals” so we can “get all our ducks in a row” (the latter is often a confused pond of ducks that appear in both lines and rows and sometimes simply “in order”. Sometimes they’re not even ducks).
To put it simply, using a wanky piece of jargon when NORMAL ENGLISH will do pisses me off. You could also say that I don’t have the “bandwidth” for the way people “cascade” their “out of the box thinking”, but that would have me reaching for the noose.
It’s not just that the use of this pointless terminology is annoying to me, it actually makes my job harder. Working from a client brief, especially in a B2C scenario (Shit. I mean “when I’m writing for consumers”), I’m forced to weed out all the “end-to-end” crap and “solution-focused” fuckwitery and develop meaning in plain English before I even get to translating the “vision” into “layman’s terms”. It’s a waste of my time and, if you catch yourself uttering one of these sphincter-tightening blights on natural speaking, your time too.
So... back to this email.
The chaps over at Houston PR, a public relations company based in London, appear to be very much on my wavelength with their jargon removal tool, PitchGlitch.com. While this fun little site is more aimed at ridding the world of tech jargon (I deal with my fair share of this kind of “next-gen” arse babble as well), it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The site simply receives a passage of pasted text and, after a simple click of the knowingly-titled “Disrupt” button, purges it of all expendable tech vernacular.
Of course, I tested it for myself:
“This is the game-changing response delivered by PitchGlitch when I wrote a groundbreaking paragraph to check its revolutionary, solution-driven approach to reinventing the ludicrous language of millennials who think jargon makes them sound like modern day gurus.”
Don’t you just love how it even attacked what it thought was the abbreviation of “application” to “app”? It’s like its algorithms can read my inner thoughts.
Just imagine a world where this technology could be applied ubiquitously. In my experience, these worthless words damage an explanation rather than enhance it, leave potentially hot prospects cold and serve more to disrupt attention than the market they refer to.
But, with the ultimate bullshit filter in place, the flick of a switch could bring clarity to even the most complex sounding sentences:
“The revolutionary intra-structure conveyor technology delivers a seamless approach to your in-home family transit. Its endlessly configurable styling provides complete synergy with your internal décor”.
“Our doors come in a range of colours and designs”.
This simplification could be applied to both the written word and speech, maybe through an app…lication on your smartphone (not your “personal media consumption tool”) or laptop (not your “portable workstation”).
But alas, the people with the clout, know-how and budget to bring this type of technology to market are the very people who purvey the kind of idiotic idioms it would block.
Ah well, it seems the job will remain in the hands of people like me… I guess that makes sense.