Negative growth and other crap uses of the English language

"Negative growth" ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, [breath in] ... ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.
I actually heard this on the radio this morning. Some "market analyst" (a prime example of a 'crap-talker') was talking about the Auckland (or was it Australia - ach, who cares) economic outcome for the next few months and the interview ended up with the question, "So, is the [insert correct place] going to be in recession this year?", to which Mr ANALyst answered, "Oh, I don't think we're gonna experience two consecutive months of negative growth".

Translation: "No, I don't think so".

(as threatened there now follows a rant on the use of Plain English)

Why do they/we bother talking like that? What's wrong with being plain about these things?

For instance, I wholeheartedly support John Tamihere for saying what he said. He may have stopped his career with a jolt and it may not have been the best outlet for his grievances but we all know what he's talking about and we all understand what he was trying to get across. So, whether you agree with him or not (some bits I do, some I s'pect his perception is skewed) at least we can understand him.

Whilst I find Helen Clark's enunciation is bloody awful - for instance taking a random Helen-phrase from the news today:
"Without exception every colleague who has spoken to me today...has been very disappointed"
... she would actually say it something like this:
"Without exception, every colleague who has spoken to me, today...has been, very disappointed"
Weird how she emphasises words that aren't always that key to the message. To be fair though I've heard other Kiwi's do the same.

Anyway, barring that, I do find Helen Clark's public pronouncements clear and I get what she's saying. With Don Brash I don't. He leans a little too much towards the 'negative outcome' type talk in his manner which, I suspect, is how he is naturally given his career path up to now. He's a crap-talker of old and finds it hard to stop.

So, what can we do about crap-talkers? First is to stop using crap phrases that we use to make ourselves sound more 'intelligent' or more 'in the loop'. Whilst it may boost the ego, enable the self-perception to fly high and generally get yaself all lathered up it looses the rest of the human race ... except other crap-talkers. So, stop doing it yourself ... right now.

Secondly we can challenge others when they come out with such arse. If you're in a meeting and you hear, "Me thinks some quick joining up may be required", or you're out with mates and this floats towards you, ".. it's a win-win-situation with added value to our clients" - Don't Let It Go! Turn towards the crap-talker responsible, look them in the eye and quietly but forcibly ask them to, "Please repeat that in plain English as I do not understand CRAP!".

Of course the advent of voicemail, email and to a lesser-degree txt has given the crap-talkers another avenue of talking like a management handbook. With email in particular the crap-talker can spend hours reviewing, revising and re-crapping until the message it totally lost. Do not reply to these emails. Do not save these emails. Delete them. Do not accept crap-emails into your life as they will suck the soul out of your day and leave you a husk of a person as you try and work out what the f^ck they are trying to say.

You all have your orders, go forth and stop all crap-English.


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