Seventy years ago George Orwell wrote that the English language had become so debauched that it made clear expression and lucid thinking almost impossible. What was true in 1946 is even more so today. Widespread distrust, not just of politicians, but many leadership figures, stems from a generalised sense that they use language as a weapon rather than a tool.
In the commercial, financial, political, educational, cultural and scientific worlds, we are drowning in hyperbole and mystification. Jargon-riddled ‘private’ languages have accumulated like barnacles on a boat. Contemporary English has become sensationalised, hysterical, inflated, as it struggles for attention above the Internet white noise that surrounds us. Orwell is our model. His emphasis on the scrupulous use of language to express intelligence is increasingly urgent.
The mark of intelligence is the best words matched with the best design. It’s simple to say – but to do it requires the best experience.