Haha. That article exemplifies exactly what he's complaining about. It's poorly written, doesn't clearly explain his point and is basically an ad for his book. He doesn't define what he means by "bullshit" until 3/4 into the article.

    Bullshit is communication that wastes the reader’s time by failing to communicate clearly and accurately. With no editors, clarity and accuracy are hit or miss, and bullshit is inevitable.

Did he have an editor? His article lacked clarity. As for the accuracy, it was opinion piece. That's not a factual thing, as is most communication on the internet.

    If you’re lucky, soon after you graduate, you get a job. The first thing they do is show you the employee manual, which is full of legalese and jargon. Your colleagues are writing long, cover-your-ass bullshit in the reports and emails you read. So you take those skills you learned in school and become part of the corporate bullshit machine.

CYA memos clearly and accurately convey what they're trying to convey. They're trying to CYA. They don't fall under the definition of "bullshit" as he's defined it.

It's true that print media was a lot more edited before the internet. There are a lot of ramifications of that. His analysis is simplistic and unhelpful.

    Until every writing teacher, administrator and legislator in America reads and changes the way we teach writing, this won’t be any different. But that’s ok. I’ll settle for changing you. Just recognize that what you learned in high school and college is not what you need now to write without bullshit.

This is just an ad for his book and a good example of what he considers "bullshit". If he could clearly and accurately convey what needs to be changed to create writing that is not "bullshit", the might be a step in the right direction. He has not done that here. Given there's so much access to the internet, there's no way to get everyone to the same level of education and ability to clearly and accurately convey their point.

posted by bfv: 845 days ago