Monday, December 15, 2008

More on bad business writing

To combat poor writing, I assign Fred Kahn's classic "My War Against Bureaucratese," the gobbledygook written by government bureaucrats designed to hide what they are really doing. Colleague Mike Shor's MBA Writer puts phrases from student memos together to generate sentences that sound all too familiar.
To proactively manage profit, our key initiative objective pushes the envelope toward systematized reciprocal capability.
And now the Onion takes a crack at it:
"Due to the increased scope of the project vis-à-vis Tuesday's meeting, compounded with our aforementioned desire to maintain quality without increasing cost, an as-yet indeterminate amount of time will be allocated to our newest venture," Atkins said without once stuttering. "You should all be proud of the amount of effort and energy you have put forth thus far, and can be certain the project's conclusion will become more apparent as the tasks become increasingly more finite."


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