• E023 Gobbledygook

    Welcome to English with Kimberley.

    In this episode, I want to talk to you about how it’s important to make sure that when you write your business emails or complete your study assignments everyone can understand you.

    Shall we start with a quiz first.

    The title of this podcast is ‘Gobbledygook’ – but was does ‘gobbledygook’ mean?

    Is it…

    a) making a noise when you eat?

    b) speaking in a very complicated way?

    c) someone who is really into something like computing?

    or d) a made-up word with no meaning?

    Why don’t I just repeat the question for you.

    The title of this podcast is ‘Gobbledygook’ – but was does ‘gobbledygook’ mean?

    Is it…

    a) making a noise when you eat?

    b) speaking or writing in a very complicated way?

    c) someone who is really into something like computing?

    or d) a made-up word with no meaning?

    Did you get b) ‘Gobbledygook is speaking or writing in a very complicated way’?

    If you thought it was, ‘someone who is really into something like computing’, then you may have been thinking of the word ‘geek’.

    Some examples of gobbledygook are using long expressions that need only a single word such as:

    • ‘at a later date’ for ‘later’
    • ‘despite the fact that’ for ‘although’
    • ‘in the near future’ for ‘soon’; and
    • ‘at this moment in time’ for ‘now’

    In our final quiz, we can also see how using fancy words and long sentence can also equal gobbledygook.

    So, what does this gobbledygook mean?

    ‘If there are any points on which you require explaining or need any further information, I will be glad to give them as and when required.’

    Am I trying to say?

    a) What do you want?

    b) Leave me alone!

    c) Please don’t interrupt me!

    or d) Any questions?

    Let’s repeat that question again.

    What does this gobbledygook mean?

    ‘If there are any points on which you require explaining or need any further information, I will be glad to give them as and when required.’

    Am I trying to say?

    a) What do you want?

    b) Leave me alone!

    c) Please don’t interrupt me!

    or d) Any questions?

    Did you get that this gobbledygook, ‘If there are any points on which you require explaining or need any further information, I will be glad to give them as and when required’ really means d) ‘Any questions?’

    Can you see the difference?

    Anyway, Australians are very keen not to speak or hear gobbledygook and in Episode 5 and 17 I also talk about communicating in a plain and simple style of English.

    If you like English with Kimberley, then tell your friends about it.

    You can also leave feedback about this podcast on iTunes.

    You can also find a script of this podcast at www.goaustralia.biz

    I hope you have enjoyed this podcast and you’ll join me again.

    Further Information

    Government of South Australia. (2017). Plain English: A good practice guide form https://publicsector.sa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/20070101-Good-practice-guide-Plain-English.pdf

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