One of the reasons for this blog, besides a outlet for an occasional rant, is to “encourage” myself to write. I need to improve my writing, I hope writing this blog will help. I am a visual person and spend 80% of my professional time drawing. Any writing I currently produce is in the form of standardized construction document newspeak, not very exciting or rewarding. Some of what I write is technical while other is legal in nature. Most of the jargon becomes unintelligible to people outside of the “club”.
I see a lot of resumes with lots of phrases like the title of this post. I don’t know what any of these people do! While I was researching the common business use of verbose and obfuscating jargon I came across the writings of Bertand Russell. A paper he wrote called “How I Write” that has an interesting passage that gets to the heart of what I am trying to say.
“Human beings are completely exempt from undesirable behaviour-patterns only when certain prerequisites, not satisfied except in a small percentage of actual cases, have, through some fortuitous concourse of favourable circumstances, whether congenital or environmental, chanced to combine in producing an individual in whom many factors deviate from the norm in a socially advantageous manner”. Let us see if we can translate this sentence into English. I suggest the following: “All men are scoundrels, or at any rate almost all. The men who are not must have had unusual luck, both in their birth and in their upbringing.” This is shorter and more intelligible, and says just the same thing.
Here’s to say it like it is and simplifing communication.