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April 08, 2009

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Shaun Dakin

David,

Great idea!

I'm pleased to see that you are innovating such a unique scalable high performance flexible web 2.0 new media web tool.

Shaun Dakin
CEO
StopPoliticalCalls.org
@EndTheRobocalls
@IsCool

Tim Parker

Great to see the update - very relieved that robust has dropped 10 places, it had gotten very tedious.

My take away, I am going to start using 130 percent from now on.

A request to Hubspot, could you adapt your grader to accept urls? Just to make it a little easier for those of us too lazy to copy and paste.

Thanks.

Stephen Coady

I'm appalled at the garbage people write in press releases! Admittedly, although I try really hard to write plainly, it's hard not to slip in the occasional business-speak type of word on occasion, even though I work at a moving company and not a "world class enterprise."

Eugenie Verney

Fine work, David!

Pleased to see that "solutions" has slipped down somewhat, but I note that "going forward" still has a top 50 place. I cannot begin to express how much I loathe that vacuous phrase...


http://eugenieverney.typepad.com/

Steve Johnson

You do a real service to the tech community when you update this survey annually. We all see these horrid words but it's nice to be able to say "it's not me; David says so and the stats support him."

You've done a great job of leveraging synergy with leading providers... oh wait, I'm going it again.

Amelia Search engine optimisation

What a great idea I can't wait to try it out! I'm off to read your manifesto now!

Jari Juslén

I tried and got a grade of 0/100 with the following ;-(

"We are pleased to introduce our new and improved next generation, easy to use solution aimed at providing value added services to all leading providers. This unique, flexible solution is focused on creating increased partnership commitment and world class outcomes in terms of metrics."

This is really cruel..our PR is destroyed!

Serious: this is really good, many thanks, I admire your passion on this subject!

David Meerman Scott

Jari - that is a true prize winning piece of gobbledygook.

Sarah Mitchell

Thanks for the reminder, David, that it's easy to get complacent. Thankfully, it's just not that difficult to write better copy. I'm making a pledge to myself that I'll pass everything I write over the next 7 days through the gobbledygook grader.

I'm going through a website rewrite now and I know there's at least one "robust" mention on my own site.

Tom

Hubspot and webinknow working together, that a great combination. Excellent work to the both you. Been a fan of grader since it was just website grader and webinknow since the new rules.

Erika

I was just thinking about this very subject yesterday. There is nothing worse than hearing these copy-cat words in a press release. In fact it's an automatic turn off and causes me to loose interest immediately.

Linda VandeVrede

Better yet, use other PR tactics to build relationships than press releases. Too many PR people rely on this ancient convention, when it's clear that press releases are not a PR strategy. I wrote a book on this topic for clients to avoid having to create the gobbledygook copy in the first place :)

David

I just sent out some press releases yesterday and found this site today. My releases scored really low. Great tool - now I have some re-writting to do!

JustinSMV

I love the research and thought process behind this because its so simple and so true. I hope that many PR companies catch on to this and use these tools to improve their articles :-)

Laurie Dunlop

I was thrilled to see the word "leveraged" so high on the list. If I hear that word on one more presentation or meeting this year I will scream!!!!

Vince Giorgi

Don't look now, David, but corporate gobbledygook might be morphing into a virulent strain of mumbo jumbo, at least when it comes marketing job descriptions. As if the career weren't challenging enough? Check out this post about a recent position description for a Segment Marketing Manager at a Fortune 500 company.

Tony Eldridge

Great post! I linked to it in my Marketing Tips Around the Net on my blog today.

Tony

Jason Karpf

I'm heartbroken that my all-time favorite "robust" is out of the top ten. And what about "seamless"? At least "new and improved," which I think Marconi used in his first broadcast, is hanging tough.

A wise gentleman named David Meerman Scott told us to “think like a publisher.” So, write press releases that are informative and can be taken seriously.

Web Stores and More

Hmmm... just ran a recent newsletter through the grader which found no Gobbledygook terms but awarded me a score of only 51. What other factors are considered? Thanks

David Meerman Scott

@Web Stores - please ask the people at HubSpot for info on specifics of the Grader. Thanks

John Zajaros

Great article! I had never heard of the term "gobbledygook" used in this fashion. I will rethink my use of various words and phrases as a result of this article. It's funny how we adopt words and adapt our lexicon to the times. This is a very useful slant on things. Thanks and well done!

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.

Career Search

Nice blog.Hmmm... just ran a recent newsletter through the grader which found no Gobbledygook terms but awarded me a score of only 51.

RickA99

What about "exceed expectations"? I can't believe that is not near the top.

Account Deleted

Great to have found you! Very pleased to see the update. I also have found a lot of interesting information here -
http://www.picktorrent.com
Have fun!

Aynne Valencia

Great advice! Sending along to my team with a "Don't be that guy" note.

Mike Dalton

Couldn’t agree more that the term innovation is overused-that's because it's been hijacked—by everyone from thieves masquerading as bankers with innovative new derivatives (i.e. a great way to hide the fact that half of our loans are crap but still allow ourselves to pay bonuses on the pretend profits) to failing car companies trying to convince us to buy their boring iron, to people inside companies looking for a shorthand way to brand their ideas as gold without expending the effort to prove how it helps customer experience or helpd them sell more or reduce costs.

But rather than not using the I-word anymore, it’s time to take it back and restore real meaning again! (not too Quixotic - I know). That's why, in my upcoming book, Simplifying Innovation, I propose a more precise definition for innovation:

The organization-wide process of finding and profitably serving unmet or unexpressed customer needs.

Inventive isn’t innovative. Nobody cares if your new product or service is “innovative,” At best, that’s just a feature. What they want to know is what’s in it for me—what’s the big benefit. That's innovation.

Mike Dalton
www.Guidedinnovation.com/si

David Meerman Scott

Hey Mike:

Interesting comment. Thanks for stopping by. I will be interested to her from you after you launch your book. Take back innovate is a noble concept, but can you pull it off?

David

darksidemarketr

Just found this post of yours and I LOVE IT. I was going to post something similar as a warning to engineers. I've found that engineers and product managers, when asked (forced?) to come up with any copy -- especially lists of features -- tend to fall back upon the same gobbledygook phrases. Why? Monkey-see, monkey-do. That's the mumbo-jumbo they read in press releases and marketing collateral, so they try to imitate it to sound like marketing. It's self-perpetuating and an easy cop out. Of course we're an industry standard! We're best practices! We're best of breed! Whaddya mean so what? HELLO BEST OF BREED WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT etc., etc., as if the phrase itself is self-evident proof.

David Meerman Scott

darksidemarketr

You're right. It's not just marketers but also engineers who fall into this trap.

David

Brad

Looking forward to the 2009 update!

David Meerman Scott

Brad - no plans for a 2009 update I'm afraid. It is a heck of a lot of work!

What new phrases are you seeing?

cheap computer canada

I try really hard to write plainly, it's hard not to slip in the occasional business-speak type of word on occasion

Michelle Mangen

Glad I found your site tonight. I've already sent this link to a few of my friends.

Was doing some searches on Press Releases and this tool alone will come in really handy.

Kimberlymccabe

Well it seems that at http://www.oshyn.com we use our fair share of goobbledygook words. Is their an SEO consequence? This blog post does an amazing job at pointing out the words - but I think it would be great for the community to understand more about the consequences....

David Meerman Scott

Kimberlymccabe -- Yes Oshyn uses a lot of gobbledygook phrases including the most over used one -- innovate (and innovation).

Of course it effects SEO. In a HUGE way. Reason is that people don't go to Google and look for companies that are "innovative" - and even if they did, they won't find you because tons of other companies use that word.

You need to focus on your buyers. Not your own ego.

David

Gina Lofaro aka the wordmistress

Ah, a man after my own heart! My sister and I call this language (which you refer to as gobbledygook) "wankety wank wank", shortened to "www". (Please forgive the obvious Aussie-isms. Well I AM an Aussie.) I would have to list "passionate" as what I consider to be a huge offender. Ever seen a bio that DOESN'T include "is passionate about"? And oh I totally agree on "leverage". I STILL don't know what's really meant when it's used!

David Meerman Scott

Gina

I love the phrase "wankety wank wank"!

Thanks so much for sharing.

David

Criação de Sites

Better yet, use other PR tactics to build relationships than press releases. Too many PR people rely on this ancient convention, when it's clear that press releases are not a PR strategy. I wrote a book on this topic for clients to avoid having to create the gobbledygook copy in the first place :)

jerseys

It's funny how we adopt words and adapt our lexicon to the times. This is a very useful slant on things.

sosbuys

love the research and thought process behind this because its so simple and so true. Great post! I linked to it in my Marketing Tips Around the Net on my blog today.

Nuvenus Chovendus

It's funny how we adopt words and adapt our lexicon to the times. This is a very useful slant on things.

fitness equipment

It’s a good one helpful to me a new reader to this write up, working at gym will show this to all clients coming to me.

kettlebells

Hi, I am from Australia and this page has explored my required matter, which like very much and also interested to share with my friends and colleagues.

Gym equipment

Would like to know that how this article can be a great value for the people like me, as found something really interesting extract out for real use.

kettlebells

just wanted to say that I appreciate and thank you for this interesting post. Looking forward to the next one, I’m sure it will be just as interesting.

Yantra

this blog post related to "Top Gobbledygook phrases used in 2008 and how to avoid them" is really appreciable

Jeff Faldalen

HI David,
Thank you for the great pointers and resources.

I am just getting started and this press release thing, so I appreciate any tips

Best wishes,
Jeff Faldalen

SEO Companies

I appreciated your thought on sharing this as it does help a lot to those who keep on repeating mistakes!

Reabilitação oral BH

Great idea!
Thanks so much for sharing.

Mamoplastia BH

Great post! I linked to it in my Marketing Tips Around the Net on my blog today.

Katipsoi Zunontee

What a great idea I can't wait to try it out! I'm off to read your manifesto now!

Acompanhantes BH

Great advice! Sending along to my team with a "Don't be that guy" note.

Shelly

I think Educational Researchers are huge offenders when it comes to gobbedly-gooking. Educational reseearch is performed, policy is written, it is boiled down into a few neat sweet phrases. Even if the research is real and meaningful to Education all of its relevance is lost due to the gobbedly-gooking.

Jo Guerra

I miss your grader. I loved it. Any chance of bringing it back? Thanks.

David Meerman Scott

Jo - Sorry, no.

Shelly

It's crazy how we embrace terms and adjust our vocabulary to the periods. This is a very useful inclination on factors.

Andrew G

After reading this post I realized that PR people really do use the same terms over and over. The one I am tired of hearing is "the leading provider"

I will keep this post in mind when submitting my next press release. Thanks!

leo burgues

This is a great content. I'll share with my frinds, for sure! Thanks!

Stephanie

David! I am so sad that the Gobbledygook Grader is no longer available. What happened?!

David Meerman Scott

Stephanie, HubSpot decided to take it down. I am sad too.

Kylie

I wish I was able to try the gobbledygook grader before it was taken down. Do you know of anything that is relatively similar?

Gary F Miller

Please add Fiscal Cliff to the list.It makes ones stomach churn everytime it's used.

Nimbuschick

Everything on Kickstarter is "Revolutionary", so I propose we add that to the list.

David Meerman Scott

Nimbuschick - good one!

Michael

Phrases that are classic the Wire, The Projects, sentence, Scott free, release, Mafiosi, strangling, jacking, Scala, the Dark side, real, buzz, Mike, book, proof.

Tibum

great post, thanks
Alexandra

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