Learning to write from Mr Green

Mr Green's logoHaven’t we grown up enough to get rid of management-speak? No names shall be mentioned, of course, but here’s what I saw recently on the company’s promote-themselves poster …

I’m afraid this blurb says almost nothing. It applies equally well to almost any company you can think of. It could apply to microPledge, to YourCompany.com, and probably even to Mr Green Mowing Services.

What exactly is system integration? Is it Mr Green using the same kind of petrol for his lawn-mower as well as his weed-eater? Or is it building all your websites with .NET?

Tailored solutions for unique situations? I’m sure Mr Green would be happy to mow not only rectangular lawns, but also bi-circular pentagonal lawns with star-shaped rose-garden inserts.

And enabling you to better manage productivity is what any business is supposed to do. Programmers help you manage productivity by computerising repetitive tasks (among other things). Mr Green helps you manage it by doing icky lawn-mowing work so you don’t have to.

I thought George Orwell had already taught us how to write meaningfully. But no, over 60 years later, we still need sarcastic parodies to make us think — I discovered there’s a whole slew of online “jargon generators” for various fields. You can find about twenty just by typing “business jargon generator” into Google.

Here are just a few of the “corporate bovine excrement” generators:

How much business would Mr Green get if their website blurb said:

We specialise in enabling clients to better manage productivity and enhance their efficiency through automation. Our end-to-end solutions include delivering reduced-length monocotyledons, maximising cleansed-surface infrastructures, and tailoring user-centric residential commerce.

But they’re smart enough to keep it clear and simple:

We’ve all got better things to do than spending long hours cleaning, mopping, ironing, weeding and mowing the lawn. Let Mr Green take care of these tasks so you can free up your time for more important and enjoyable things.

I’m probably preaching to the converted here, but why don’t IT companies learn from Mr Green?

18 September 2007 by Ben    one comment

One comment

Sandy 18 Sep 2007, 21:16 link

Yes, you are preaching to the converted :-)

But I really like your post nonetheless …

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