Have to write a bs article? GQ shows you how

We analyze a magazine article for lessons in ‘the gray art’: Writing stuff that sounds credible but says nothing.

It will not come as a news flash to experienced speechwriters that the occasional speech assignment is … well … bullshit. The job is to write something that sounds impressive and significant but that commits the speaker to nothing. The reasons for these bs assignments are too numerous to mention, but they include: The speaker has no position on the subject … the speaker has nothing to say to this particular audience … the speech is ceremonial and not persuasive in nature.

The reasons don’t matter to the speechwriter, who must create for the speaker 15 or 20 minutes of verbal sounds that resemble communication but that communicate exactly nothing.

The noble gray art of bs

It’s a grinding chore, depressing and against a writer’s very nature. Unless, that is, the writer knows what he or she is doing. There’s an art to the bs speech, you see. It’s the same art that allows airline magazines to seem vaguely interesting as one flips through them but prevents anyone from ever being offended by a single article.

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