Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Can You Read This?

I'm still at it--trying to find corporate Web sites that speak English instead of flabspeak, that curious combination of buzzwords and euphemisms that confuses readers who might want to to know what it is the company actually does. Such sites are hard to find, and in my journeys I ran across one that I believe demonstrates exactly what a site shouldn't do. I won't tell you the name of the company, but here are a few gems from their attempt to communicate.

The company employs a client-proximity method, which I believe means they have a lot of offices in various countries, which makes it easy for them to be in touch with their clients.

It has a client-facing approach, which seems to mean that the company puts its clients' interests first. This word must be the replacement for client-centric, but it's not an improvement.

Ah, now we've hit the mother lode. The company is going to carry out some acquisitions that will ensure accretiveness to net profits. Now, let's see. Accretive means to grow by accretion, but if even Google can't find a definition for accretiveness, I have to believe it's a made-up boardroom word someone thought was as impressive as all get out. What it appears to mean is that the acquisitions will add small amounts to the bottom line, which I assume will make it healthier, but that's anybody's guess. This word is nothing but a waste of air, and plowing through all this verbiage is just too much work.

Another definition for accretion is an accumulation of dust and gas into larger bodies, such as planets. An accumulation of dust and gas? In this case, you bet.

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