Thursday, 07 January 2016 17:40

'Not even death will stop the avalanche that is coming. The die is cast.'

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shoutPlease don't  read this if you're one of my clients. It might offend you to know what copywriters and editors really think about language that seems effortless and appropriate to you

On Dec. 23, Oz-based The Plain English Foundation announced the worst doublespeak -- err corporate language -- of 2015.

To be fair, several of these worst-of-the-worst phrases probably represent the culmination of hours of arguments and micro-finessing between in-house attorneys and corporate communications groups (which always lose to the lawyers, sadly).

Here are the highlights, as deliciously rehashed by copyediting.com:

VW takes top prize for using "emissions" as shorthand for "emissions regulations," as in "possible emissions non-compliance."

FIFA captured mixed metaphor-of-the-year honors with "Not even death will stop the avalanche that is coming. The die is cast. There can be no turning back. Let the chips fall where they fall."

The UN went down for a 20-page, 16,000-word report on climate change by promising to "faciliate clarity, transparency, and understanding."

"Over-firm denial" now means lie. "Precision guided weapons" are bombs.

As copyediting.com observed with startling accuracy, "Editors are no strangers to convoluted constructions and garish grandiloquence."

Which is precisely why CEOs and lawyers need to pay attention when PR or corporate communications types say "no" to the way a press release or response is tersely worded.

Australia has our backs.

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Stephanie Johnson

These are my thoughts about online marketing and industry practices, both good and bad, to help you understand the importance of controlling your image in today’s media-rich online environment.

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