Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times is one of my favourite columnists. One of her specialities is to roast companies that spew out meaningless bullshit in their communications and press releases. She even hands out annual Golden Flannel Awards for the worst corporate gobbledygook.
She's at her best today canning Mondelez (The Oreos to Cadbury company). The company's marketing head quit and this is what they had to say about finding a successor
" Our search for a successor will focus on finding a digital-first, disruptive and innovative leader who can build on Dana’s legacy and mobilise breakthrough marketing in a rapidly changing global consumer landscape"
Every word is a cliché and the sentence says absolutely nothing other than mouth inanities. Does it make you any wiser who they are going to hire ?
She has , over the years, mocked at meaningless drivel, quoting such outstanding examples as these
From Burberry - "In the wholesale channel, Burberry exited doors not aligned with brand status and invested in presentation through both enhanced assortments and dedicated, customised real estate in key doors"
Or this from E Bay - "We are passionate about harnessing our platform to empower millions of people by levelling the playing field for them"
Have you stopped to think about the nonsense that is shovelled each day. Infosys is doing an "orderly ramp down of about 3000 people", ie sacking them. Citibank was "optimising the customer footprint across geographies " ie, er firing people. What about grandiose words for mundane things . Speedo's swimming cap is a "hair management solution", another's aluminium doors are "entrance solutions" and Siemen's healthcare business is "Healthineers".
We ourselves mouth such fluff often - We want to touch base . We are moving forward. We are solutioning for a client. We are mitigating risks by risk management. We are at a "workshop" where somebody is droning through 200 slides and the rest are supposedly paying attention. We are tele commuting.
How about some good old plain English for a change. Something the Queen would approve of. Declare the next week as a fluff free week. Speak in simple English. If you cannot, try Gurmukhi ! A language where fundamentally jargon and flowery language is impossible.
A passing note to American readers. I know the English language is strange to you, but you may want to try and learn it !!
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