The language rant

Would you like to work for “A single-source provider of business solutions with a strong vertical focus offering an integrated suite of services via a global delivery platform?”

Would I ever. Sign me up, baby.

I’m swimming through the sea of meaningless words that make up job listings and employer/agency information, which to me is just about the most demoralizing thing about looking for new jobs. It’s one of the most demoralizing things about a lot of modern work, particularly that which happens in big corporations and bureaucracies. This alternate non-language has developed to make everything look shiny and angular and forward-pointed and efficient and smart and “expert,” and it’s all ridiculous. It’s just words. Words that don’t mean anything at all.

I hate this. I hate dealing with this, I hate reading and parsing this nonsense, I hate having to consider writing about myself in this kind of language. In case you’re new here, or just haven’t been paying attention, I love language that’s precise, clear, and vivid. I love saying deep things in the best possible ways I can find. I love stories, and I think the biggest truths are contained in stories. I’d rather read and write about stuff that is real, even when that reality isn’t polished and pretty and marketable. Everything I value most about writing and language is pretty much the complete opposite of what I’m reading on stupid job sites this morning. There’s no room for stories in here. No room for what’s real.

I don’t know where this silly mish-mash of corporate duckspeak came from, but we in the modern world have done ourselves a great disservice by allowing it and perpetuating it. It is a kind of dehumanization, to strip out everything which is potentially flawed or complex (and thus, potentially interesting) and paint everything over with big fancy buzzwords about “solutions” and “platforms.” If I spot one, just one ad which isn’t written in this kind of silly nonsense, I’m going to apply to it — I don’t even care what it’s for, but just on principle’s sake, I will give that brave person or company the dignity of paying attention to their work. That above all is who I would like to work for and with now — with people who are real and genuine, who haven’t got time to bother polishing up their images because they’re busy doing something meaningful. Those are the people I want to work with. That’s the sort of person I want to be.

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2 comments so far

  1. Jess on

    Amen, sister.

  2. Cat on

    Preach it sister.
    I don’t apply for jobs if I don’t understand the job title, but this one takes the biscuit/cookie and all the chocolate.


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