Thursday, March 28, 2013


I’ve written about this before, but I think it is worth repeating.

When I was at Ogilvy and under the well-feathered wing of Steve Hayden,
Steve got a promotion from President to Vice Chairman.

“The Wall Street Journal” wrote about Steve’s ascent and in their article there was a quotation by Ogilvy CEO Shelley Lazarus. It said, simply, “Steve never writes in jargon.”

I read that quotation.

And I read it again.

And I thought about it. I said to myself, I would like to be the industry’s best writer someday like Steve is today. I will take “never write in jargon” as my personal brief.

So often when I’m speaking with someone or listening to someone read from some over-wrought powerpoint, I hear a string of words that has no discernible meaning.

They might be all the “right” words.

The words that ring the right linguistic bells.

Words that get the phrasemeisters nodding.

But they are devoid of sense and meaning.

Or as Shakespeare put it and Faulkner re-put it:

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

1 comment:

Tore Claesson said...

kind of depressing really.