Bad Writing Costs Businesses Billions

This is thinkpiece rehtoric rather than an objectively measured result. It’s attractive to me because it supplies statistics that might help me sway the opinions of my students; I think they would be better off if they believed this, too, and if they shared this belief, our interactions would be less stressful and (I hope) more productive.

But the solution isn’t as simple as hiring better writers, or putting more grammar in the school system. The values of the corporate world depend not on the efficient flow of information, but a communication process designed to make information appear more (if you’re selling it) or less (if you’re buying it) valuable than it really is; to make misjudgements and errors appear less (if you’re the guilty party) or more (if you’re the wronged party) serious than they really are; and to hustle us all through time-consuming opportunities for debate and introspection by impressing each other with jargon and statistics that shortcut the critical thinking process.

I initially clicked this headline because the statistc confirmed something I already believe about writing; I am part of the meme-production process that simplifies thought.

Poor writing creates a drag on everything you do. It functions like a tax, sapping your profits, and I can quantify it. American workers spend 22 percent of their work time reading; higher compensated workers read more. According to my analysis, America is spending 6 percent of total wages on time wasted attempting to get meaning out of poorly written material. Every company, every manager, every professional pays this tax, which consumes $396 billion of our national income. That’s more than half of what we pay for Medicare—but the poor writing tax pays for nothing but waste. —The Daily Beast