Mar 272024
"Higher level" sounds impressive and sage but is, in fact, useless and bankrupt usage

Thinking about “higher level,” it’s funny how words and phrases first enjoy popular attention and use, then become utterly devalued through overuse, and finally descend into the condition of allergen (at least for me) to which I (again, me) have a palpable histamine response. It’s happened with “freedom” and “patriot,” words that are effectively meaningless in 2024. In a much smaller circumstance—work, I now have the same sense toward the words “higher level” or derivatives.

"Higher level" sounds impressive and sage but is, in fact, useless and bankrupt usage

The description usually arises in discussion about any given communication not in the form of bullet points, containing polysyllabic words, or ascribing 50 or less words (and ideally some pictures) to stand in for a complicated, if not complex subject. That subject could be a business venture or initiative, policy position, innovation, or some kind of restructuring or transformation. And that doesn’t even cover the waterfront because the “higher level” rejoinder is applied to EVERYTHING.

It now gets under my skin. Mostly because it is used by people who haven’t the faintest idea of what genuinely constitutes these mythic levels. That is, not only are the classes fluid but they’re used knowingly by people who actually don’t know. That makes them code. A kind of nudge nudge, wink wink.

Want to have a little fun? Ask the next person who mentions that something has to be taken to a “higher level” what exactly that might look like. Silence. Or, worse, some febrile explanation that it will be briefer, maybe in bullet points, and so forth. Utter nonsense in any case.

So what is this “higher level” nonsense about? As far as I can tell it is shorthand for:

Don’t get me started on how widespread and deep the rot of that need to abbreviate goes. Suffice to say it goes too far. There was once a time when the distinguishing feature between lower and higher ranks in an organization and society had to do with the capability to communicate IN WRITING (which means both writing and reading). Requisat en pace.

 Posted by on 27 Mar 2024

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial

Enjoy this? Tell a friend. Thx