Using Plain Language, Politics, and Abstaining When Appropriate

But sometimes it’s really hard to not say something, isn’t it? Especially when you’re in a group and you want to contribute something to the conversation to indicate that you’re participating, so you just throw some random comment out there and, a moment later, you realize that what you said sounded out of place, or worse, derails the conversation. Or is that just an introvert problem?

I suppose you could apply this quote to a lot of political speeches too, now that I think about it. Overly verbose language and long winded nonsense where the person doesn’t really commit to anything or say anything concrete. The whole point of the speech is to give the appearance of competency and “getting things done”.

Maybe that’s the bedrock of modern American politics though. Nothing ever gets done. I mean, look at today. We had the Daylight Savings Time adjustment again because Congress won’t do even something simple that a majority of people would appreciate. I know I’d appreciate not having to get up what is essentially an hour early tomorrow, because I know I won’t fall asleep on time tonight.

I was looking at the list of courses available on Joint Knowledge Online, an education site for military and government employees, called (iirc) “Using Plain Language”. I think I’m going to enroll in it. When you’re in the Army, you’re encouraged to use basic, plain English so as many people as possible understand what you’re saying. I’m not in the Army anymore, but I can see how the course would be helpful to me. I still interact with the public, after all, and in New York City quite a few people only have a basic English proficiency because they’re still learning.