For those for whom reading is a key activity, language abuse smacks them in the nose when it’s encountered.
I’ve written before about the commercial property agency practise of reinventing the language. This began about thirty years ago in Sydney then quickly spread to New Zealand.
Suddenly industrial buildings were being advertised as high-tech. So in Sydney, where since the late 1960s I have bought over 600 industrial buildings, with a colleague we went to look at one of these advertised revolutionary high tech industrial buildings.
It seemed perfectly conventional. “What’s the high-tech element?” I asked the real estate agent. He shuffled nervously then said it had a higher ratio of offices, which is hardly high tech.
Since I bought my first industrial building in Lower Hutt sixty years ago, I’ve watched the ratio of offices in the standard industrial building rise from 5% to as much as 60%, depending on the activity. But, high tech it’s not.
Here’s the latest nonsensical industrial real estate building agents babble. There’s no such thing as a warehouse anymore. Instead they’re logistics centres.
In fairness, this silliness is not confined to commercial real estate. In recent years, Government and large corporations have abandoned plain English for hyperbolic silliness with job descriptions.
So yesteryear’s Staff Clerk, although today, doing exactly the same job, is now a Human Resources manager. And to add further mystique this must be presented clumsily as Manager – Human Resources.
My observation for what it’s worth is the more menial the job, the more it’s re-described with a grandiose title.