The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself.
An apt description of phrases such as:
- moving forward
- we can do this when we say yes
- Labor says yes to Australia’s future
- here we acknowledge Australia’s first people, we acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we meet
- There will be no carbon tax under the Government I lead
- Let’s get Australia back on track
- It begins with us
- Yes we can
- Incentivise is the one that does it for me
In 1946 Orwell wrote these words – as true today as in his time
This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing … prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.