Because you are reading this, I assume that you are a good, thoughtful person—a person who cares about language (and who possesses an adequate sense of humor).

We care about language. We recognize that how we communicate and the words we choose define our personal relationships and change how we do business.

We know that it’s easy to fall back on clichés, unexamined metaphors, and pat phrases—particularly when these signify membership in a group, a group of people in the know. We want to end this. We want to encourage every striving individual to do their part to improve the world with each clear, original sentence it is within their power to speak or write.

So, following the encouraging response to Unsuck It, we offer this blog as a place to explore the ways in which “professional” communication in English goes wrong and why. And we reserve our right to write about any any darn thing that strikes us.

I hope you enjoy it, and that you continue to join us in unsucking the suck with every utterance.

A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble.

- George Orwell, Politics and the English Language

4 comments so far

  1. On any other blog I would not comment on this, but don’t you mean ‘pet phrases’ instead of ‘pat phrases’?

  2. I believe she intended “pat” and not “pet”, as you suggest. Pat, when used as an adjective, is descriptive of something glib or unconvincing.

  3. Han, really? In the time it took you to post your comment, and then leave victoriously, never to see the third comment that points out your simplicity, you could have just used a dictionary, and saved yourself the embarrassment.

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