A satirical interlude

From The Onion:

“My God, just listen to him spin that empty administrative rhetoric into flaxen strands of gold…”

Gobbledygook exerts a paradoxical pull on me: I become transfixed by its awfulness, torn between twitching discomfort and perverse appreciation for its awe-inspiring obfuscation. It is the Vogon poetry of the modern office environment (and beyond), except that in purporting to convey important information, it lacks the rousing charm of nonsense for the sake of nonsense.

When I encounter gobbledygook I itch to transmute it into meaningful, readable English. In the worst cases no such meaning exists, and parsing the text reveals only hints of sense in masses of gibberish; other times the alchemy succeeds, and a plain emphatic version of the writer’s intentions suddenly emerges from the jumble of jargon like the hidden image in an autostereogram.

Previously: Going forward into the future


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