There are certain words and phrases I find myself using every day that I wish I didn’t have to. ‘Thought leadership’ is one. ‘Community’ is another. Even ‘social media’ sticks in my throat it has become so overladen with misinterpretation, expectation and confusion.
I wonder if any of you have a memory like this? I must have been about two or three years old. Either way, my brother, who is fifteen months younger than me, was still in a high chair. I remember that we were on holiday and staying in a holiday apartment or hotel (I’m not sure which). My brother was being fed a boiled egg in his high chair and Dad was talking to Mum.
Agh – few things annoy my linguistic sensibilities more than random capitalisation. Sure, misplaced apostrophes are probably a greater grammatical blot on the language landscape, but the capitalisation of words is more irritating because of its intentional nature. I’m currently editing and rewriting the copy on a massive IT website and still come across examples of nail-on-blackboard level irritation.
How easy is this blog to read? Apparently, yesterday’s blog post A lick of paint is comfortable reading for 13 year old students – or grade 7. The prevous post, Don’t blame marketing for a sexist society, is seemingly much harder for some readers, requiring a year 12 or college level education to decipher. How do I know this? A little-known tool hidden within Microsoft Word that assesses readability according to the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Test (Wikipedia).
Should wordsmiths imbue compositions with dexterous and verbose adroitness? Or should writers use short, simple phrases? I often come against amateur writers, particular in business, who insist writing should be a demonstration of language skill.