Saturday, January 12, 2008

Decline and Fall

The following paragraph was in an email I received inviting me to something called Amazing Woman's Day:

The day long program will empower through an active discovery and exchange designed to identify each woman's unique calling of greatness while expanding a web of personal relationships and setting free new possibilities for a brighter future."

Huh? As my daughter said, the sentence reads like it was created with Mad Libs. Honestly, it makes me wonder about the decline of the English language into complete gibberish. I guess I can figure out what the words are trying to convey. The queasy feeling they give me about the likely New-Age-y content of the program (and about the opening they give anyone inclined to disdain women to conclude that we really can be feeble-minded, at least as a group) is unmistakable. It's also pretty easy to see that the sentence was drafted by a committee, each member armed with her favorite buzzwords and determined to fire away. But yikes! What a mess! Can you even imagine trying to translate the thing into another language?

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