In a lead NZ Herald Commercial property section article, Jones Lang Head of Research and Consulting, Paul Winstanley, writing on future cities said,

“The future resilience and liveability of our cities depends on our capacity for original solutions that can scale as we grow, making it all the more important to drive conversation about what our future cities look like to help clients make good decisions”. Make sense of that waffle and there’s a free trip to Chad awaiting.

There are two uniquely New Zealand give‑away words in that gibberish.

First is “solutions”. Seemingly it’s contagious. Whether Joe Blow Plumber or whatever, nearly every service provider nowadays in New Zealand has incorporated it in their company name.

My company uses about 50 different services and I’ve banned the Wellington Office from employing any with it in their name.
And not without reason. When our outside accountant retired some years back our people were recommended another firm. My antennae twitched when I saw “accounting solutions” emblazoned on their stationery. As it transpired my intuition was spot on when a couple of years later through their spectacular incompetence we ended up having to (successfully) sue their professional insurers for about $5 million after application of their solutions, to the delight of the IRD, lumbered us with a double tax payment.

The other, again uniquely New Zealand language abuse is this “conversation” crap fad of recent years. It’s ubiquitious and a give‑away of talking nonsense.

We’re constantly told we must have a conversation about child abuse, housing, crime, rubbish collection and whatever. A conversation with who?

Mr Winstanley urges a conversation about our future cities. Should I therefore wander into Lambton Quay and bail up strolling office girls. Imagine it.

“Excuse me Miss”, I say.

The girl looks up from her cellphone.

“Wotcher want?”

“Do you mind having a conversation about the appearance of our future cities?”

“Piss off”, she cries and scuttles away, understandably and rightfully alarmed for her safety.

What’s required here is for say 50 Auckland University English students, who if they know their stuff should be equally irritated by these language abuses, to bowl en masse into Mr Winstanley’s office and announce, “We’re here to have a conversation about our future cities”. That would certainly sort the bugger out, although if in Iran, 150 well-deserved lashes would also do the trick.


I’ve got it! Show me the colour for ya money and I’ll be right round to pick up said ticket and with explanation in hand – fair swap 🙂

Usually a “conversation” is initiated by a politician like Jacinda who has no intention of letting whatever someone may say get in the way of her unpopular but already predetermined outcome. But the invitation to the “conversation” is given to deceive the gullible that a genuine consultation is occurring.

Another example of bad communication: “learnings”, as in “there are learnings to take away from this less-than-optimal Kiwibuild experience”. No, the word is “lessons”.

I think you’ll like this newly coined French expression:
dé·jà poo
(noun) the feeling of having heard this crap before.

And a cheeky question: Don’t you mean “a conversation with whom?”

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