When did all of the US suddenly fall in love with the word “disingenuous?” Politicians are the worst, of course (aren’t they always?), but this unusual word seems to be making its way into our daily parlance.
More importantly, perhaps, is when did people start thinking that everybody knows what it means?
For the record, dictionary.com tells us that disingenuous means “insincere and often seems to be a synonym of cynical or calculating. Not surprisingly, the word is often used in political context.”
So, why don’t we just say “insincere?”
Be honest. How many of you knew what the word meant the first time you heard a politico stand up and emphatically state “I think it’s disingenuous of my opponent to say …?” And yet, you hear it every day … especially during election times.
We in marketing and public relations need to be constantly on guard and constantly ready to help our clients speak to the issues in clear, concise, easily understood terms. Just as we advise our clients to avoid business jargon when talking to the public, so should we use our professional expertise to counsel them away from impressive sounding but often misunderstood language.
To do anything else would be, well, disingenuous of us!
Johnson Direct, LLC
The comments expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official positions of Johnson Direct, LLC.