Bureaucrat's Handbook
Developing Antidotes for Bureaucracy

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Attrition by Bloviation
When will he ever stop talking

You asked a simple question and the reply is rambling, incomprehensible, self-serving, boring monologue that never ends. Your attempts to interrupt, refocus, and get back to the business at hand are ineffective. No one can stay focused through this. You are a victim of attrition by bloviation.

Why it Happens

The bloviating speaker may be deliberately trying to avoid an issue, disguise a lack of information, change the topic, distract attention from your issue, attract attention to his issue, recast an issue, indulge himself, avoid responsibility, aggrandize, demonstrate power, bully you, make you uncomfortable, or just waste time, perhaps to avoid confronting an issue or to delay a change. Alternatively this may just be the speaker's bad habit that has persisted too long. Unclear expression, equivocation, or waffling may also indicate unclear thinking, or a lack of commitment to a particular direction or position. It is impossible to accurately attribute the action to an intent without getting much more information from the speaker.

Consequences

How it Happens

Effective Defenses

Quotations

  • Good writing is clear thinking made visible.

References

How to Use Power Phrases to Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say, & Get What You Want, by Meryl Runion

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