Year: 2010

Death by PowerPoint may mean what it says

“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war.” That’s what General Stanley McChrystal, leader of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, reportedly said when shown this PowerPoint slide in Kabul a year ago. If the slide, titled

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Bad writing can sometimes be bad-minded

The French and the Dutch voted down the EU constitution in 2005. A prominent American judge, Mark P Painter, in an interesting article titled ‘Did Bad Writing Doom the EU Constitution?’, suggested that one reason for this rejection was that

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How churnalists make us solastalgic for the good old days

We’ve invented  a lot of ghastly new words and phrases in recent decades: ugly, bland, abstract, meaningless jargon. So it’s good to come across some colourful new words on Paul McFedries’s website Wordspy: churnalism Churnalism is what so-called journalists do

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Two kinds of language – and a dam letter event

An exchange of letters illustrates vividly two different ways in which we use language.

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‘PowerPoint makes us stupid’

Have you ever bored an audience stupid with a PowerPoint presentation? I think I may have done so once or twice – not because the presentation was especially awful, but because I packed in too much and went on too

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Are you a creative industrialist?

The “creative industries” must “play their full part in the vital task of economic renewal”, says Taoiseach Brian Cowen (the Irish prime minister). It’s a ghastly term – out of the same dictionary of corporate and marketing crapology as ‘Ireland

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