Don Watson

Don Watson Speaks

To engage Don for talks (on language or other subjects) send an email to Helen Smith including details of where, when and why.

Feedback from Don's talks:

'Don Watson was fantastic. Great content with relevant examples and very useful information.'
'We attracted a record crowd!'.
'Don Watson ... got my full attention and respect in minutes...'
'Engaging and interesting, and very valid...'
'Funny and to the point.'
'I could have listened to him all day.'

'Marketing doublespeak has seeped into all forms of communications to the detriment of clear, meaningful language. You could almost pick up the executive summary from any two departments and you’d get the same reference to ‘synergy’, ‘efficiency’, ‘streamlining’ and a focus on customer experience. This is often not the communications teams pushing the language, but senior executives who want to sound more business-like. This problem is best articulated by Don Watson in his book, Death Sentence, which should be mandatory reading for all public servants.' Pia Andrews, New Public Management: the practical challenges, remedies and alternatives, The Mandarin, 21 November 2019.

There it is again

Collected Writings of Don Watson

From birds, to love letters, imagined apologies, mind-numbing management-speak, Oscar Wilde, Anzac Day, strange people and racehorses, in this collection of his writing Don Watson brings his distinctive voice and way of seeing to a host of deserving subjects.

Over the years Don Watson has written on politics and politicians in Australia and the USA, sport, nature, history, culture, crimes against speech, and military commemorations. Sometimes he writes in celebration of a moment or a creature of beauty; at other times, because something or someone gets on his goat - or up it, as young folk say these days.

At the heart of all of his work is the belief that, more than just about anything else - more even than free markets or lifestyle choices - in a civilized society words matter.

Penguin 2017. Buy There it is again.

Don.jpgDon Watson's Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, won the Age Book of the Year and Non-Fiction Prizes, the Brisbane Courier Mail Book of the Year, the National Biography Award and the Australian Literary Studies Association's Book of the Year.

His Quarterly Essay, Rabbit Syndrome: Australia and America won the Alfred Deakin Essay Prize. 



Death Sentence, his best-selling book about the decay of public language won the Australian Booksellers Association Book of the Year. Watson's Dictionary Of Weasel Words was also a bestseller. 

American Journeys won the Age Non-Fiction and Book of the Year Awards. It also won the inaugural Indie Award for Non-Fiction and the Walkley Award for Non-Fiction.


the bush.jpg





Don Watson's book, The Bush: Travels to the Heart of Australia, was the 2015 Indie Book of the Year and Book of the Year in the 2015 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. It also won the Non-Fiction Award in the Queensland Literary Awards and the FAW Non-Fiction Prize.