“We the human capital of the United States, in order to facilitate a cutting-edge, best-of-breed convergence of revenue-generating entities, actualize Justice, insure scalable domestic Tranquility, provide for the interdependent interfacing of defensive capabilities, promote mutually beneficial functionality in the North American market space, and secure the Blessings of harmonized, re-engineered culture to ourselves and our Posterity, do conceptualize and cultivate this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Let us bow our heads and give thanks that Gouverneur Morris, the Founding Father credited with writing the preamble to the United States Constitution, was a far better writer than many of today’s marketers. Otherwise, millions upon millions of children would never have been able to memorize the preamble in grade school – much less understand it – and the Union might never had held together.
A Confession and a Theory
I have a confession: Vague language drives me bonkers. And ever since I made the jump to Internet marketing firms after a long career in newspapers, I have puzzled on this question: Why is so much business writing mind-numbingly obtuse? I developed an armchair theory. Vague language is high art in business because a negotiation is a courtship of adversaries, and ambiguity is necessary to avoid driving off the other party before you have time to draw him in. We marketers have simply gotten lazy and adopted it.