I recognise that I may be teetering on the brink of ‘old fartism’. Before finally accepting having taken an irreversible plunge towards old age proper, I thought I’d have another rant about use of language, a topic fast becoming a bugbear, in order to check my bearings with possible passers by.
As a qualitative research person, I see an awful lot of project briefing documents (and thanks be for that). However, it is now rare that I read one that doesn’t require re-writing in order to make it intelligible. It is as if research buyers are cutting and pasting phrases they think sound good, stitching them together in a haphazard order and just punting out a brief to see what happens.
I don’t expect most people to be elegant or poetic in business communications (although it is a pleasure when they are), but I do expect coherence. I was always taught that to rewrite a brief in one’s own style would be appreciated by a client because it indicated that one had read the thing and was making an effort to demonstrate the fact.
The sad fact is that, in many cases, I have to rewrite the brief in order to be sure of understanding what is being said. However, when I do this, I feel a nagging suspicion that the original author will perceive me as trying to make them feel stupid when I am really just trying to clarify the issues.
Sometimes I wish I could just not give a shit, but this would mean giving up on quality and that, for me, would make what I do meaningless. Am I an old fart?Explore posts in the same categories: Market research, marketing