I have to admit I am a language purist. When I see words being bandied about, I see where people are trying to talk their way around actually saying something of any real use.
It really doesn't matter what you say if no one can understand what you are attempting to communicate.
Orwell was right about buzz words, our language is filled with them. This seems like a case of "weasel words" (sheisty ambiguous words) taking a front seat by folks who are either being purposefully vague or those who have no idea what to say. Instead, they use a string of big words to make themselves seem knowledgeable--about what we can't be sure, because they didn't really say anything.
Personal branding is a part of the problem. It is a buzzword war world with everyone trying to find their own catchy slogan. I admit I was in the middle of this, as well. I have been working on building my own brand. It is not really easy and can seem daunting at first glance. It really is a facade, though. We can try to sum up a person in a phrase, or worse a word, but this diminishes a whole person--we are not to be summed up in one, or in a few words. Unlike the major brands we are more than hollow corporate logos with a catchy slogan that attempts to endear them to us. We are complex individuals with a myriad of different skills, interests, and attributes that aren't defined in a small box of five words.
When we all become commodities then something is seriously wrong in our society. However, this seems to be the direction we are heading. "How do you market yourself?" this is what the "getting hired" books ask and lead to the direction of personal branding. Everything in writing from your Facebook page to your blog becomes your image, your personal brand. I know from experience that everything I post is subject to personal liability and can hurt my business. Sometimes I don't care and post it anyway, but it is a distinction that is always on my mind. Written words are powerful because they stay with you and your clarity makes it unambiguous as to what you are saying. Perhaps that is why there is so much muddled writing, a lack of wanting to reveal what you think and how you really feel about a subject.
I hope that we don't get to a place where people feel that have to hide behind the complication of hazy writing in all areas of life. This may explain some of the writing I have seen more recently, though. Fear is an interesting emotion for the writer, as it doesn't allow the writer to really write what is on her mind. I admit I went through this and then I decided:
I didn't care.
And, that is when I began to create my best writing, when I stopped caring so much about what I was revealing about myself. To be a writer you have to reveal yourself and it can be tricky, but it doesn't have to be scary.