Triumph Of The Anti-Language
by Bob Hoffman (@adcontrarian) There is a talk I give to groups from time to time called “The Golden Age Of Bullshit.”
The talk has a few basic themes. One of which is that we are living in an age in which business bullshit artists have invented an anti-language. Its objective is to confuse rather than clarify. This is the opposite of what language is supposed to do.
Yesterday I received an email from from Oracle. The headline said:
Architecting Business Continuity Essentials for Enterprise Applications
Eager to find out how my enterprise applications could be architected for business continuity I read on.
I learned that I could…
Facilitate capacity planning and performance tuning. And effectively consolidate and virtualize enterprise application environments.
All I can say is, if you’ve never virtualized your enterprise application environment, dude it’s awesome.
But that’s not all. By subscribing to their “techcast” I could also…
- Deploy mission-critical services with maximum resiliency
- Architect effective site failover and disaster recovery processes
Cancel my trip to Hawaii.
And speaking of bullshit, I was sitting in a coffee shop the other day. There were two flat tires sitting at the next table. I actually heard one of them use the words “mission-critical.” I didn’t know people really said it. I thought it was just a term whose use was legally restricted to bad radio spots and idiotic emails.
All this bullshit used to be funny. Now it’s just depressing. We have a whole generation of business people whose brains have been corrupted and debased by a vocabulary of jargon and obfuscation.
They think they are hiding their ignorance behind a curtain of tarted up language. In fact, they are exposing it.
– The Ad Contrarian is Bob Hoffman, ceo of Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco and St. Louis. Hoffman is the author of The Ad Contrarian and 101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising. Reprinted from his blog The Ad Contrarian.