About Me

My photo
This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Banish the gobbledygook, PDQ -- By Wesley Pruden, The Washington Times

Politics occasionally drive John Boehner to tears, but rarely to plain English. Gobbledygook is the Washington disease, and the Republicans have a bad case of it. Wonkery was not invented in Washington, but Washington is where it thrives.

Corporate-speak is closely related to government gobbledygook, and those most fluent in the tongue have been carefully trained and tutored in using words not to amplify meanings, but to hide them. One way to do this is to use five words when one or two will do. Perfumed words are preferred. Initials and acronyms are best of all.

The Democrats are rarely wordsmiths, but they understand that plain people — i.e., most of us — understand plain words. Short words are good, Winston Churchill observed, and familiar words are better. Short, familiar words are best of all. Ronald Reagan knew this, which is why he was called the great communicator. Many Republicans, having inherited corporate genes, have never learned it.

This becomes crucial when there's a crisis, and nobody wants the further misery of trying to figure out inside-the-Beltway terms of art, when congressmen speak of the CBO and OMB, the GDP and the AMB, and the politicians argue about whether a CR will satisfy the grunions at the EOB. FBI, GOP and maybe AFL-CIO are about all the alphabet soup that most Americans can digest.

Facts, the wise man said, can't speak for themselves and depend on someone else to distort them. In the current crisis, President Obama and the Democrats have the media at their back, as they nearly always do. The Associated Press reported this week that its national poll finds that Mr. Obama's approval rating has fallen deeper into Jimmy Carter country, with only 37 percent of Americans say he's doing OK. The Associated Press, once the gold standard for neutrality and reliability, reported this under the headline: "Poll: GOP Gets the Blame in Shutdown." The prevalence of such bait-and-switch journalism is why the Republican leaders must do more than rant, rave and scold. If they hope to succeed, they must agree on a clear and easily understood goal — and learn how to talk about it.

 (Click link below to read more)
READ MORE Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Post a Comment