On Seinfeld, George Carlin, and Language

Far too many of us misuse words.
Mar | 21 | 2012

Mar | 21 | 2012

One of the things of which I’m most proud is that the readers of my books consistently tell me that I speak like I write. That is, I try and get to the point and speak in plain English. While I know my share of fifty-cent words, I like to think that I use them appropriately. And no one ever accused me of using a ghost writer, not that there’s anything wrong with that to paraphrase another wordsmith, Jerry Seinfeld.

I never want to be the guy who talks and writes about increasing synergies and engendering paradigm shifts. (It hurts my fingers to type those very words.) In fact, in my five books, you won’t find a single instance of synergy. To me, the minute that you use terms like these, you lose your audience. I’ve seen far too many consultants, project managers, and salespeople speak like this as those watching rolled their eyes.

I admire many speakers, but few people had greater command of the English language than George Carlin, another one of my favorite comedians. In this bit, he talks about the evolution of language and our tendency to use unnecessarily use euphemisms.


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