Worst Words: A compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon

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Don Watson - with his trademark wit and wisdom - says enough already! The English language is complex and evolving, and can win minds, hearts and nations. Why don't we try using it?

 
Worst Words: A compendium of contemporary cant, gibberish and jargon, Don Watson

Don Watson - with his trademark wit and wisdom - says enough already! The English language is complex and evolving, and can win minds, hearts and nations. Why don't we try using it?

What is ‘cluster deployment', and how can you be sure to ‘engage multiple stakeholders through your strategic delivery channel'? What's the difference between ‘backcasting' and ‘backfilling' and could it ever matter?

The language of business and work grows ever more depleted, barren and senseless. Politicians hide in thickets of endless repeated messages, platitudes and clichés, or behind such shameless Newspeak as ‘operational matters'. The thing is viral: leaping from corporate windows of opportunity, it has taken hold in universities and schools, the public service, hospitals, local councils, fire brigades, the weather bureau. (What is the difference between rain and a rain event?)

Don Watson returns to the follies he described in Death Sentence and Weasel Words. With his trademark management-jargon mockery, he will make you cringe and laugh and possibly die of shame. But above all he will ask you to resist: to fight in the fields and in the streets – and in the offices and on the internet - and never surrender.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $29.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780857983442
    Published: 02/11/2015
    Imprint: Vintage Australia
  • eBook
    CHECK RETAILER PRICE
    ISBN: 9780857983459
    Published: 02/11/2015
    Imprint: RHA eBooks Adult
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"A brilliant book." - Alan Jones, 2GB

"I did find much to enjoy" - Stephen Romei, The Australian

"For Watson, bad language isn't simply an editor's or writing teacher's problem with slack or inappropriate diction. It's a political problem; it's the ubiquity of things such as obfuscation, bad faith, fear-mongering, and ideological distortion on the part of people in authority, whether CEOs or politicians. (When is a terrorist not a terrorist?)

Worst Words will improve the writing of whoever reads it — every corporate tearoom should have one" - Owen Richardson, The Age

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Don Watson

Don Watson

Don Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year. His Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America won the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize. Death Sentence, his best-selling book about the decay of public language won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year. Watson's Dictionary Of Weasel Words was also a bestseller. American Journeys won the Age Non-Fiction and Book of the Year Awards. It also won the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction.

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