Many people – maybe most people – feel put off and insecure discussing the subjects of finance and economics. It’s almost like talking about serious health concerns with a doctor who only uses medical lingo. Many of us don’t have the training to understand, so we smile, weakly, and nod our heads. But whether it’s our health or finances, it’s not good enough to be ignorant – if we want to control our destinies, individually or as a society.
Mark Twain is supposed to have said, “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
Every Tuesday I look forward to the New York Times’s weekly section on science. But a recent edition stopped me cold, because it pointed to some serious communication challenges about our understanding of health and disease.
Each new year brings resolutions. But instead of the familiar ones (you know, more exercise, better eating), how about a commitment to lose clichés and unnecessary words, so your writing and speaking are as smooth and clear as a mountain stream?
A couple of opinion columns recently focused on how leaders of the U.S. military present themselves these days – relentlessly wearing, for too many occasions, dress uniforms bedecked with the “fruit salad” of ribbons and award…
Do you have trouble understanding what people are saying these days? Do you know what they really mean? And do you find people in business using vague words with little meaning, without mentioning real people, actions or thoughts?