Thursday, October 26, 2006

I just hope my university wasn't responsible for these writing skills

We just got a big glossy brochure in the mail about all the wonderful new things the government is going to do to make the centre city less of a graveyard and more like a... well... centre of a capital city.

Whoever they hired to write the thing was the master of meaningless sentences and I think we should all bow down and worship their framework-independent implementation of the compositional component of expressiveness diminuishment.

Here are some of my favourites:

"New development including public spaces should facilitate pedestrian interconnectivity in the City."

What the hell is pedestrian interconnectivity? I don't think I want to be interconnected with other pedestrians.

"In conjunction with the National Capital Authority, the Government believes the City centre should be developed in a logical sequence, following a pattern of incremental growth that will maximise the returns to the community."

Because, you know, I would have thought it would be better to develop it in an illogical sequence and minimise community returns. Gee, I'm glad the "Government"* is running the country instead of me.

"A $6 million upgrade of the public realm will provide a template for the rest of the City centre. Currently being finalised, the manual will integrate all public realm design elements and set out all the ingredients to deliver a distinctive and high standard of design and consistency for street furniture [...]"

Whew, I'm glad that street furniture is going to be consistent. That was really bugging me. And "all public realm design elements" are going to be "integrated". That's a load off my mind, too. Maybe they'll integrate them with those interconnected pedestrians.

"The team is addressing short, medium and long term planning, design, implementation and management issues that have an impact on community safety in City. This involves [you'll never guess!] short, medium and long term changes [...]"

And what's with the "in City"? Is abolishing definite articles part of their strategic visualisation for a more vibrant future? Or maybe they are replacing the name "Civic" (what our central suburb is usually called) with a more friendly term as part of an attempt to integrate the interconnectivity of the English language.

At least they aren't short of strategic sounding plan names, though. In the two page brochure I found mention of all of the following schemes:

The Dynamic Heart Strategy
The [City]** Central Program
The City West Master Plan
The [City] Central Structure Plan
The National Capital Authority's Griffin Legacy Redevelopment

I have absolutely no idea whether these are five different projects or progressively cooler sounding names for the exact same thing.
But it's all right, because at the end of it all we'll end up with "an indicative long-term development and implementation plan". (Woo-hoo!)


* What's with the capital letter? Are we being German all of a sudden?

** Here [City] was the name of the city so I changed it.


Carine said...

This made me laugh so hard that I inadvertedly spat chocolate biscuit at my screen. Am I now dynamically interconnected with my computer or what?

My guess is that your city council (or whatever it is called at your end of the world) employs a computer progammer who has written a very clever 'jargonese-generator'. How it works is this: you ask a semi-literate civil servant to jot down some ideas, then you push a big shiny button and run it through the jargonese-generator ... out comes your glossy brochure.

I wish we had something similar for research proposals.

StyleyGeek said...

I wish we had something similar for research proposals.

Now there's an idea...