Maxim Monday - 70 - Speak Plainly

Αμλως διαλεγου

Approximate (phonetic) transliterationAmlos Dialegoo
Typical translationSpeak plainly

There are times when flowery language is considered acceptable. This is usually done for an artistic purpose, such as in poetry. When you're trying to get your point across to someone, though, it's not a good idea.

You can try to use more obscure terms matter-of-factly, thinking that you'll sound smart. In reality, you'll come off as confusing and pretentious.

ContraPants: What kind of gas mileage do you get with your car?

Strawman: I get circa 12,000 furlongs per hogshead.

Do you know what that means? No, you don't. Before you try to correct me, you should know that I can ask Google for a conversion, too.

ContraPants: What kind of gas mileage do you get with your car?

Not-a-Douche: I get about 24 miles per gallon.

There are a lot of office people who use these words to cover up when they don't know something. Of all my pet peeves, buzzwords probably top the list, especially "leverage."

The instant I hear more than two buzzwords in the same paragraph, I start to question whether the person I'm talking to has any credibility. If more than two appear in the same sentence, I can safely assume the person is a moron.

"Let's stick to leveraging our core competencies" is a phrase that haunts my nightmares. What is wrong with saying "Let's do what we're good at?" Even better: I'll stick to my core competency and just quote a comic book character.

A man who speaks plainly

Seriously, if I watch a B-grade horror movie, I laugh the whole way though it, even the "inappropriate" parts. If I hear "leverage" in a meeting, though, you can be sure that smell is coming from me; I'm probably pants-shittingly terrified that I have to work with such an asshole.