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Leverage My Synergies, Damnit!
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In interactive mode each click of the "Leverage My Synergies" button produces one phrase.
In automatic mode phrases are produced every few seconds depending on the specified delay.
Automatic Production
  
Production Rate in Seconds (1 <=   <= 9)
Text and Software Copyright 2000
All Rights Reserved
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Copyright 2000 -- All Rights Reserved
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Text and Software Copyright 2000
All Rights Reserved
Feel free to link to this page, but please do not steal the software or the surrounding text. (Not unless you want our landsharks to come over and leverage your synergies in a most unpleasant way.)
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The New Economy Speak Has No Clothes: how a conglomeration of jargon, buzzwords, bad grammar, and Reverential Capitalization conceals a message's utterly trivial nature and alienates the target audience.
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I have received memos so filled with managerial babble that they struck me as the literary equivalent of assult with a deadly weapon.
-- Peter Baida
More and more publications -- both technical and non-technical -- are written in a combination of impenetrable technobabble, buzzspeak and bad grammar. These monstrosities are euphemistically referred to as "corporate communications". Extracting the meaning from them is no easy task, as any experienced marketeer or manager can expand a totally trivial concept into pages and pages of utterly incomprehensible jargon, turgid prose, Reverential Capitalization and bad grammar.
Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, gave a wonderful explanation for the expanding popularity of truly awful verbiage:
"Any business school professor will tell you that the objective of business communication is the clear transfer of information. That's why professors rarely succeed in business.
The real objective of business communication is to advance your career. That objective is generally at odds with the notion of "clear transfer of information."
... If you want to advance in management you have to convince other people that you're smart. This is accomplished by substituting incomprehensible jargon for common words."
While Adams was discussing managers, his words ring equally true when applied to virtually any modern communication, be it from an individual or an organization. The mindless conglomeration of acronyms, jargon, and verbed nouns smothering perfectly good communications is simply frightful.
Have doubts? A Google search for the new economy phrase "leverage synergies" produces over twenty-five thousand hits from legitimate businesses. (Seems a lot of synergies are being leveraged these days.) This prose might be amusing if it was not seriously, and needlessly, damaging the exchange of ideas.
Plain-spoken communications seem to be out of vogue, which is a shame. The move to verbosity, however, is not as recent as one might think. About fifteen years ago, United Technologies ran an advertising campaign, done in simple black text on a white background, exhorting people to be direct and plain-spoken in their communications. We reproduce the content below:
Keep It Simple
Strike three.
Get your hand off my knee.
You're overdrawn.
Your horse won.
Yes.
No.
You have the account.
Walk.
Don't walk.
Mother's dead.
Basic events require simple language.
Idiosyncratically euphemistic eccentricities are the promulgators of triturable obfuscation.
What did you do last night?
Enter into a meaningful romantic involvement, or fall in love?
What did you have for breakfast this morning?
The upper part of a hog's hind leg with two oval bodies encased in a shell laid by a female bird, or ham and eggs?
David Belasco, the great American theatrical producer, once said:
"If you can't write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don't have a clear idea."
Simple advice. Sound advice. Yet more and more individuals and organizations are ignoring it, including otherwise intelligent people who really ought to know better. Hiding behind a thicket of pompous verbiage allows individuals and organizations to perpetrate the deceit -- really little more than self-delusion -- that their ideas and concepts are more important and profound than they truly are. After all, the reasoning goes, which sounds more "impressive":
"I will interface with our key stakeholders in the visioneering process to leverage their input."
versus
"I will ask business development and marketing for their reaction."
The notion that readers somehow appreciate conglomerations of jargon, made-up words, and words Randomly Capitalized because they are so Important, is nothing less than delusional. Why should anyone want goods or services from a company so contemptuous of its customers that it conspicuously refuses to communicate clearly. After all, what are they hiding?
When a message is hard to understand, it is nothing more than hard to understand. Not deep. Not profound. Not awe-inspiring. Just hard to understand. Without an incentive, readers rarely try to puzzle out or decipher needlessly confusing verbiage; instead, they form a negative opinion and do business elsewhere. Especially in the Internet era, where time is valuable, patience with nonsense is limited, and alternative choices abound.
If shrouding your message with buzzwords, verbed nouns, and Reverential Capitalization is the keystone of your company's strategic vision, be sure to tell us your ticker symbol so we can short your stock.
After reading several lifetime's worth of buzzspeak, both professionally and in the course of ordinary life, we decided to show how mindless and mechanical the process is by writing a JavaScript to automatically produce new economy buzzspeak. (It slices, it dices, it increases sales and gets you promoted! How much would you pay? Wait! There's more!)
The words come from a variety of sources: actual corporate messages we have seen over the years, communications Kuru rewrote for clients, far too many tedious and content-free discussions with new-economy-speak obsessed venture capitalists and business-plan writers, and from Fortune 500 company Websites filled with execrable prose.
Sad to say, but modern communications really has come to the sad state of affairs where a program can produce buzzspeak nearly as well as a human.
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This Site Last Updated: Sunday, January 27, 2002
This Page Last Updated: Sunday January 20, 2002
Kuru Heavy Industries
www.Kuru.com
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Replace a-t with an "@" symbol
Replace d-o-t c-o-m with ".com"
908.898.0091 (voice)
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