Friday, October 21, 2005

Bad Writing in High Places

I suppose everybody's already read David Brooks's excoriation of Harriet Miers's prose style in the Times,* but it's hard to resist quoting those sentences, wonderful clouds of meaningless abstraction and ham-fisted nominalization, once again:
More and more, the intractable problems in our society have one answer: broad-based intolerance of unacceptable conditions and a commitment by many to fix problems.

We must end collective acceptance of inappropriate conduct and increase education in professionalism.

When consensus of diverse leadership can be achieved on issues of importance, the greatest impact can be achieved.

An organization must also implement programs to fulfill strategies established through its goals and mission. Methods for evaluation of these strategies are a necessity. With the framework of mission, goals, strategies, programs, and methods for evaluation in place, a meaningful budgeting process can begin.

We have to understand and appreciate that achieving justice for all is in jeopardy before a call to arms to assist in obtaining support for the justice system will be effective. Achieving the necessary understanding and appreciation of why the challenge is so important, we can then turn to the task of providing the much needed support.
Two thoughts:
1) Miers never studied Latin.
2) I've seen more energetic prose in education textbooks – & that's scary.

*I'm linking a reprint, since the Times has recently started charging for all their best editorials.

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