Eric Fetterolf wrote to VeraSage with an interesting question:
“Group fed up with baffling government jargon” is an article from Yahoo news.
I’ve heard you encourage people to extend our vocabulary. Using broader vocabulary encourages readers and listeners to improve their own vocabulary to achieve understanding. Having stated that, I agree that one should not use language to confuse or obfuscate the intended message.
In your opinion, who is ultimately accountable for the message: the Speaker or the Listener?
Ron: The speaker is always responsible for the message. But that does not mean that the Listener has no responsibility. In fact, listening is probably the most least used skill of all. Most people are awful listeners. But that said, the onus is still on the speaker to get his point across in a way the listener can grasp. Peter Drucker has written about this very topic, I want to say in his The Effective Executive book, but don’t quote me on that, it might be in another one of his books.
Ed: The creation of the message is clearly the sender and it is the responsibility of the sender to develop to the best of one’s ability a message that one believes will be understood by the listener. The listen can choose to ignore the message regardless of what the sender does. It is mutual, but I would say the focus needs to be on the creation of the message by the sender.
What say the rest of you?