"My granddaughter's Grade 6 class was asked to write a mission statement about their key values and core objectives," laments Don Watson (at home in Melbourne). "It's bilge. Absolute bilge."
Just reading my wife's Who magazine, and there's an interview with Don Watson, one-time speechwriter for PM Paul Keating. He's written a book, Watson's Dictionary of Weasel Words.
"What effect is weasel speak having on us?
The best remark I've heard recently was made by an American liberal when he said, "We now live in a post-truth environment." In such an environment you can take the man with the medals for valour in Vietnam and the man who's got a dodgy service record in the national guard and you can make the man with the valour and the medals become the flake and not fit to lead the country. And the man with the dodgy record becomes the only one fit to lead the country."
I've been collecting a few weasel words of my own recently, so that my defences go up when I hear these;
Knowledge Management, Touch Base, Consultant, Overseas, Busy, Think outside the Box, Change Management, Brand, Coach, Scope, Win-Win, Deployment, Bottom Line, Environment, Methodology, Alignment, Ownership, Stakeholder, Meme.