The actual headline in today’s paper says “Corporate Speak Sucks The Life Out Of Our Education System” but I prefer my headline as I’ve been railing against corporate speak in my media training workshops for quite a while now. Ron Forbes is an English language teacher at Kyneton Secondary College and he reckons the primary purpose of corporate speak is to obscure meaning. He says “this is a language with the blood and muscle of actors and verbs removed, leaving the hollow bones of its noun phrases clanking against each other.” Sadly, education is now being steadily corporatised too.
Forbes says the education sector is being encouraged to use words like “pedagogy” instead of teaching, “cohort” instead of student group, and “stakeholder” instead of parent. He claims we are in danger of corporate-speak sucking the life out of our education system and says that for us to hold on to our humanity, let’s use and value plain-speak and stamp out officialese.
All I can say is “hear, hear” – please let business people and politicians take note so we don’t end up with a society of automatons sprouting empty slogans.