by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Copyeditor with an Attitude; photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash…
I’ve noticed an odd writing habit on LinkedIn — and I’m not talking about my pet peeves, the abuse of “authentic” and “humbled”…
Apparently, a lot of LinkedIn users aspire to become professional announcers. Instead of feeling proud, pleased, honored, etc. about an accomplishment, they’re proud, pleased, honored, etc. to “announce” it:
- “I’m proud to announce that I received an award…”
- “I’m thrilled to announce that I landed a job…”
- “I’m excited to announce that I just sprouted a new limb…”
Sometimes they’ll use a synonym, such as “reveal” or “share,” with the same effect. Instead of celebrating what actually happened — “I’m happy that I escaped an alien abduction” — they endorse the act of announcing — “I’m happy to announce that I escaped an alien abduction.”
I didn’t realize professional announcer was such a coveted position. (Then again, I didn’t realize product modeling was every teen’s dream gig until Instagram.)
My guess: LinkedIn users have watched too many award shows and press conferences, which feature people announcing the achievements of others: “We’re thrilled to reveal the winner of this year’s prize…” The emotional moment and ensuing applause make confused onlookers think the announcer just won something.
Consequently, non-announcers now add two unnecessary words to their statements — and as I stated in my book Copyediting With An Attitude, unnecessary words must die. Worse, those two words draw focus from the actual accomplishment.
So the next time you find yourself pleased, proud, honored, etc. about something, just say it — unless, of course, these announcing jobs really look that good to you.
You caught me. 20 minutes after I made an announcement.
Now I’m going to have to hire Michael Buffer.
Get ready to rumble, Rick!
I’m pleased to announce that I think this article that you wrote about how annoying it is to hear people use too many unnecessary words as well as phrases that don’t actually mean what they think they mean is absolutely breathtakingly and I dare say monumentally brilliant and authentic.
Ha. Edit THAT, Professor! I would be so humbled if you would.