"Thank you doesn't butter my bread."
“What are we going to do?”
"The question is difficult to solve, but possible"
"You need a weightier argument,"
"We'll sort it out."
These phrases are part of a list that the Kremlin has instructed Russian government officials to avoid using. The reason is that these phrases are a few of the ones that have been used to extract bribes and gifts. (As reported in the Guardian)
The Kremlin is hoping to reduce the amount of corruption within the Russian government. Cutting down on corruption seems like a good idea. By identifying key words that have been traditionally associated with corruption the Russians are shining a light on this problem. By banning the use of these phrases they are stigmatizing the words and hence the practice.
Those seem like a good start because that’s exactly how society tackles problems with diversity and other social issues.
Language and the choice of analogies shape our thinking – particularly regarding immoral, illegal or questionable activities.
Business announces “down sizing” instead of firings.
The mafia called killers “button men”.
The military reports dead civilians as “collateral damage.”
We’ve heard a lot of vague terms, deceptive analogies and implied messages. If you use any of these techniques your audience might start squirming and wondering “where are the skeletons?”
Yes, that’s another analogy. It means, “What are you hiding?”
If you want your audience to trust you – speak clearly. Avoid jargon and innuendo – unless you’re looking for a bribe. "Dogovorimsya!"*
* That’s Russian for “We’ll sort it out.”
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