It is intriguing the number of definitions of 'muck'. To me, muck is a mess of text that somebody else expects me to slog through to get their message. I might even want to receive the message but the format, writing and delivery is so inconsumable, I'm turned off by the first trail of muck across the top of the page, or the subject line of an email message.
To the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, muck is many things:
- soft, moist, farmyard manure. We all know what that really is.
- slimy dirt or filth.
- defamatory remarks or writings. This one is interesting. I am not implying that defamatory remarks are the ones with inconsumables messages that turn me off. Defamatory remarks that are completely consumable would ALSO turn me off. I'm talking about writing that is cumbersome to read.
- rubbish, nonsense. Now we're getting close!
- dark, highly-organic soil, aka MUD. Yes. Who wants mud?!
- synonym: gunk. Very appropriate.
- material removed in the process of excavating or mining. Yes, think of what Mike faces during his show: Dirty Jobs: Muck, which a capital 'M'.
My goal in life is to write for companies who understand that the muck gets in the way of their key stakeholder relationships and their ability to have a profound impact on their bottom line. We have become a 'text-dependent' society. Words are what make the world go around. They are what change the world. But if you're sharing muck instead, who knows what your audiences are thinking.
Don't be a stick in the mud. Reach out to a professional. We can help.