Friday, January 23, 2015

Next time I complain about writing in linguistics

remind me of this:

Anticipating how, when, and why different contexts may interact to disrupt an organization requires leaders to develop “ripple intelligence,” as well as the ability to harness doubt more effectively in order to improve decision making. Moreover, as business conditions change, CEOs must learn to balance authenticity and adaptability in order to motivate their organizations to action without squandering the trust they have worked so hard to build.

It comes from a report on CEO business leadership insights for the 21st century, partially authored by academics at Oxford.  The story I got it from is here. As Justin Fox observes, it's pretty clear that the above is entirely content free as it is as close to gibberish as one could hope.  But it is vapidity that is worth remembering for two reasons.

First, as bad as some linguistic writing can be, I cannot remember anything this contentless.

Second, you can be sure that this sort of CEO/corporate speak will soon be coming to a campus near you given the delight that our handlers have in pretending to be big fancy corporate leaders.  So get ready for the BS.

Here's a great W.C. Fields bit of wisdom to arm yourself with to get ready:

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit."

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