unspeakable

Posted on October 7, 2011
Filed Under language | Leave a Comment

Of all the very objectionable things that modern business has done to society, the damage they are wreaking on our language is perhaps the most objectionable.  Here is a recent review of an “updated” version of the Dale Carnegie classic that takes you through some of the horrors of MBA speak. From The New York Times

The problem with “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age” is that its verbal DNA has been not merely tweaked but scrambled. Carnegie’s great virtue, beyond the simplicity of his core ideas, was his unadorned prose. “Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips,” he advised in a typical passage. “You will be surprised how they will set flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit.”

That homespun virtue has been obliterated here. This new adaptation seems to have been composed using refrigerator magnets stamped with corporate lingo: “transactional proficiency,” “tangible interface,” “relational longevity,” “continuum of opportunities,” “interpersonal futility,” and “our faith persuasion.” The devastation, in terms of Carnegie’s original charm, is nearly complete

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