Rate this writing

The following is a fairly typical online description of an organization. See what you think of it.

About Our Company

“Broaden Your Printing Horizons”

peacockPerched on the cutting edge of publishing instrument technology, ABC responds to the speed of change. We are very proud to offer a catalog of sleek, award-winning printers designed to satisfy your every printing desire. To best serve our clients, we have assembled an accomplished team of synergetic sales associates and customer service agents to assist you in every step of your ABC Experience, beginning the moment you decide to order one of our printers. With employees spread across three continents and a long tradition of building state-of-the-art office machinery, you will find ABC is a company of innovation, always thinking outside the printer box.

I’ve worked for a CEO or two who would have absolutely loved this (especially if I could have worked in the word “transformational”). Have you? It sounds great at first pass—all those buzzwords: synergetic, state of the art, innovation, outside the box, cutting edge. But what does it say?

  • There’s a catalog. And they’re proud to offer it.
  • Salespeople will help you, but after you decide to order.
  • “Publishing instrument technology” might mean anything; it’s quite the jargon.

Here’s the source. Be sure to look in the upper right corner of the page. Then let me know: Could this be a parody of your organization’s writing style?

P.S. Here is the perfect how- to-make-a-corporate-video-without-saying-anything example.


6 thoughts on “Rate this writing

  1. You may find an article by me on the idiocies of ad writing amusing in this context.

    My opinion of the text you quote? This is the kind of text that immediately raises a “[nasty word] off!” reaction in me—the kind of superficial and easily seen-through writing that makes me stop reading after the first one or two sentences. (Unless I underlie external constraints that give me motivation to continue reading despite the quality of the text.)

    • Advertisers are alike the world over, aren’t they? I wish more consumers would read ads with your skeptical eye. If everything that claims to be the “best” was actually the best, life would be great! Thanks for reading.

    • My new favorite quote: “PowerPoint makes us stupid.” I worked for someone once who used the Pyramids of Egypt in a PowerPoint to illustrate teamwork. You could hear the same whisper at every table: “Uh, weren’t those built by slaves?” Ironically, the designer had to work for hours and hours on that presentation. I love irony.

  2. great post — i have seen (and had to try to edit) too many of these kinds of pieces in my career. made me laugh and cry at the same time.

    don’t remember how i found this site, but i’ll definitely return.

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