Rhetoric, or persuasion, was recognised in classical times both as central to education and as dangerous when misused. Since the time of Kant, a feature of western thinking has been the creation of a special language to accompany a special idea. Making language prior to or separate from its referents is of its nature an authoritarian activity. The managerialist language which surrounds us today threatens to reduce higher education to a managerialist endeavour, to replace conversation in the discipline with empty managerialist phrases, and to disguise the commonplace in jargon. These are anti-educational manifestations which should be resisted.