Book review: ‘Who Touched Base in My Thought Shower?’ by Steven Poole

December 9, 2013

Of all the varieties of English criticised for degrading the language, one is deplored so routinely it’s practically an international pastime. Call it management speak, business jargon, bureaucratese or corporatese, the shifty locutions and absurd metaphors of office lingo receive a constant barrage of disdain.

Such jargon has its uses, of course. It can be efficient, creative, even genuinely evocative. But more often this brand of self-important communication (or in some cases anti-communication) irritates and provokes, warping and clouding ideas in ways that are at once cynical and ridiculous, as Dilbert repeatedly shows. And the takeaway across the piece is that office jargon will keep circling back, going forward.

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Bookmash: Ambient gestures

January 11, 2012

A new bookmash today. Most of my books are in storage, or I would be doing these more often, but there are enough within arm’s reach to put the occasional one together without reusing too many titles.  p.

[click to enlarge]

Ambient gestures

Ambient gestures
Against interpretation,
The sense of things
Out of the ordinary:
Unspeak the tyranny of words.

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You can see previous examples in the bookmash archives, including links to other people’s. Let me know if you join in, and I’ll add you to the list.

Thanks to Nina Katchadourian for the idea, and to the featured authors (dead or alive): Jack Womack, Desmond Morris, Susan Sontag, Alison Dye, Jon Ronson, Steven Poole, and Stuart Chase.

[I posted this bookmash on Tumblr as well.]