Corporate spin -- the age old ability to make something wrong seem oh so right.
What is corporate spin?
It's the ability to use vague words in order to cover up a lack of actual facts, or to convey the idea that a bad thing has a good side that overrides objections. Take this line for example: "Moving forward, let's touch base about leveraging our chances at incentivising folks into purchasing these synergistically utilizable value-added, outside-the-box integrated solutions. They're low-hanging fruit, people! Let's put 110 percent into picking them while they're ripe." What does that mean? The person who wrote it has no idea either. Click the link for more hilarity on the subject.
The military has its own form of double speak, often using acronyms. When I was in the Navy, I found a book of slang terms and official Navy terms that included common acronyms. The book's name? NavAbrDic. o_O
Corporate spin may be as insidious as a butcher shop advertising that they're donating to an animal rights group. What's wrong with that? If we can't tell, perhaps we are too used to hearing this kind of speak.
I found a fun site when researching this subject. Here are two examples they provide of the "real meaning" behind some of the finest coporate spin.
The person who will get all the credit for a project, no matter who else worked on it.
Outside the Box
Creativity. Those that do think outside the box are generally considered rabble-rousers and trouble-makers. While verbally encouraged, your reward for thinking outside the box may be a pink slip party.
And then there's Despair...
Have you ever been to http://despair.com and checked out some of their posters? They are a delight to read, with great lines that motivate through demotivational words.
Here's one called Consulting.
This is corporate speak used to change your mind about what is being said. The poster tells you that you are a loser, but makes you think twice about simply accepting that definition. It also makes you laugh. Check out their site for more terrific posters. Fair warning -- they're addictive!
How do we, as writers, avoid double speak and cliches? Sometimes it comes in handy. How's this:
At the end of the day, when all is said and done, it's simply a matter of not using the same old thing day in and day out, except in this case, it's meant in an entirely different way, and for a radically different purpose.
What do you think? Care to try some of your own? Leave a comment.
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