Thursday, October 05, 2006


In 1977, Richard Dean Rosen coined the term "Psychobabble" for the plague of warm fuzzy jargon that became the lingua franca of a generation of pop psychologists.
It’s apparent that we can’t proceed any further without a name for this institutionalized garrulousness, this psychological patter, this need to catalogue the ego’s condition. Let’s call it psychobabble, this spirit which now tyrannizes conversation in the seventies....
Psychobabble is ... a set of repetitive verbal formalities that kills off the very spontaneity, candor, and understanding it pretends to promote. It’s an idiom that reduces psychological insight to a collection of standardized observations, that provides a frozen lexicon to deal with an infinite variety of problems....
Psychobabble is difficult to avoid and there is often an embarrassment involved in not using it, somewhat akin to the mild humiliation experienced by American tourists in Paris who cannot speak the native tongue. Psychobabble is now spoken by magazine editors, management consultants, sandal makers, tool and die workers, chiefs of state, Ph.D.s in clinical psychology, and just about everyone else....
Just substitue the word "blogobabble" for "psychobabble" and you have a good description of how many blogs sound!

Yes, blogs are supposed to be "conversations" (naked or dressed). But try transcribing an actual conversation and then compare it to any dialogue in a well written novel. They ain't the same! Real-life conversations are tedious, rambling and often just plain dull and boring. Do you want your writing to sound like that?

And blogs are supposed to be "transparent" or candid and honest. But haven't you had "conversations" with people so "transparent" that every conversation was a Proustian stream of conciousness?

Copyblogger, Brian Clark offers a cure for blog bloat in Give Me 3 Minutes and I’ll Make You a Better Blogger.

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