"Stay off gobbledygook language."
Seventy years ago, there just wasn’t a suitable term for those brain-scalding, rage-inducing concoctions of grammar and syntax masquerading as language. Well, Mr. Maury Maverick came up with one:
Here is his memorandum to the staff of the federal agency he headed, the Smaller War Plants Corporation; the first known usage of this faintly exotic, yet viciously accurate, addition to the English language.
Memorandum from Maury Maverick to Everybody in Smaller War Plants Corporation. 3/24/1944
From the series: Field Letters and Memoranda, 1943 - 1945. Records of the Smaller War Plants Corporation, 1940 - 1948
(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)
These days Mr. Maverick would just be seen as a rather outspoken proponent of what we in the government call “plain language.”
Maybe you call it “jargon,” ”legalese,” or ”doublespeak” — what’s your favorite term for “Gobbledygook”?