I’m not the world’s most opinionated person. Things will happen and, while others are turning purple with outrage, I’ll shrug my shoulders and bury my head in Twitter. I’m not saying this is a good quality, mind. I just can’t bring myself to worry about most things.
One thing I do have an opinion on, however, is communication. I honestly can’t understand why people don’t just keep it simple. Countless times I’ve sat quietly seething when a colleague has said “utilisation” or “utilise” when a nice, quick “use” will do. Grandiloquence – use of extravagant language designed to impress – don’t impress me much.
I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about communication, or much else for that matter. I vowed never to use the term after seeing a butchery job advert asking for people who were “passionate about meat”. But it really does bother me when I see it done badly; when people write reams of tripe as if the large quantity somehow compensates for the poor quality; when people use wacky, illegible fonts in so many colours that Joseph’s dreamcoat would feel inadequate.
So here I am now, 18 years after walking into my first newspaper office as a cub reporter and, over the years, having worked in PR, marketing and communications. One of the overriding themes over that time has been the need to communicate as much as possible in the fewest words in a way that’s quickly understood by anyone who sees it. And I think making that central to what I’m doing now is a good idea. That’s my opinion, anyway.