Everything Language and Grammar

Convoluted and Over-Inflated Language

Posted by languageandgrammar on February 25, 2011

In Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, I have a chapter called “You Thought You Were Clever, But..” in which I talk about words, phrases, and expressions that might have once been clever or cute but have lost all charm through excessive use.

It’s sort of the same philosophy we use related to convoluted and over-inflated language.

Whenever we get the chance, we throw in “facilitate,” “utilize,” and “collaborate” into a conversation, thinking that is shows how smart we are, but we enjoy a good laugh at others when they deliberately make language more complicated than it needs to be.

Sometimes we forget that we, too, can sound ridiculous.

A recent SFGate article, written by Suzanne Rogers, exemplifies the ridiculous nature of over-inflated language. To see it, follow the link (SFGate) and scroll down to the “In other news” section…

Here’s the first paragraph, where she seems to be telling people to pass each other drinks to start the meeting:

“Thank you all for coming. Kudos to Hank for adjusting the fenestration and to George for incentivizing the vortals. Holistic beverage distribution was a collaborative effort between Sheila and Dell. Dirk, Don, and Roger facilitated the cross-pollinated production of the hard deliverables, i.e. real-time benchmarks, that you have before you. Deploy one to your neighbor, if necessary.

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One Response to “Convoluted and Over-Inflated Language”

  1. Thank you. Over-inflated language is a pet peeve of mine. I’m glad I’m not alone on this.

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