Write nice, please.

Tell me: What did “unique,” “narrative,” “solution,” “dialogue,” “world-class” or “state-of-the-art” ever do to you, corporate America? Why abuse them so much and then grow to hate them and forbid them re-entry into our lexicon? And why have we all embraced this idea of turning perfectly good words into annoying nonwords, like “so” at the start of sentences and “right?” at the end of sentences? How did it become acceptable to intentionally misspell words and abbreviate words that shouldn’t be abbreviated? I’m not talking about attempting to coin a new word. “Neologism” is another subject for another day. I’m simply asking why we can’t respect our language as it was so painstakingly – if not perfectly – crafted? We’re all guilty of it. A recent article in The Economist discusses some research – too nuanced to get into here – that may help explain why we speakers of the English language insist on simplifying words and abandoning rules of grammar. Turns out, it’s a “thing.” In a recent must-read column, Peggy Noonan brilliantly – and hilariously – demonstrates how we’ve also removed grace and good manners from our writing (and speech and actions). And, finally, here’s a classic meme-adorned BuzzFeed post on our misuse of words and phrases. You might be surprised to learn something you’ve become comfortable saying has a whole nother (sic) spelling, meaning or pronunciation.   

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