For Realtor-Speak, Press 1. For English, Press 2. For Latin, Oh Never Mind

In need of reading material for a light rail trip to Tempe last week, I picked up my copy of John Grisham’s “Playing for Pizza” for a second read. This got me missing Italy, which the wife and I visited back in 2006, and I found myself later picking up Tim Parks’ “A Season With Verona” for a second reading as well.

It was in this second book that I ran across this nugget:

“Sometimes he’s so determined to be clever he mesmerises [sic] himself, he can’t remember what he was supposed to be doing, the way sometimes a sentence, an idea, can become so overintricate, so self-regarding in its twists and turns, it collapses in on its own conceit and already the reader is looking elsewhere.”

Tends to remind me of some real estate blogs I’ve read; maybe I’ve made the same error, and perhaps the above transgression is somewhat less odious than the “See Dick tell Jane it’s a great time to buy” drivel that dominates so many websites. But still …

I was reading answers on Trulia Voices the other day, answers but not always questions since the answers as often as not don’t relate to the question and instead become offers to become employed by the questioner by some desperate agent, and it struck me how often there’s virtually useless jargon incorporated into the answer.


If you catch me falling into that trap, feel free to call me out on it. Maybe not on the more elaborate constructions, though such sentences really aren’t my style. If the words don’t flow, they don’t flow, and as was once accused of Mozart, I try not to use too many notes, just enough to match the indescribable melody of syntax in my own head.

After all, writing when no one has the slightest idea what you’re saying – whether due to your own need to twist sentence construction into some Mobius-strip like creation, or the use of anagrams that mean nothing to anyone not in the business, or the exuberance with which you blindly try to solicit business even when people want to be informed, not solicited – you’re almost better off not turning on the computer.

[tags]Phoenix real estate[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at