Top Gobbledygook phrases and how to avoid them

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Boston, MA - April 8, 2009 - David Meerman Scott is pleased to announce innovative solutions for new and improved, next generation, cost effective, world class, high performance, value added outcomes.

Does the sentence above suck or what??

That's how so many PR people write — using gobbledygook-laden phrases that are so overused to have become meaningless.

I have just completed an analysis of all 711,123 press releases distributed by North American companies in 2008 through Business Wire, Marketwire, GlobeNewswire, and PR Newswire. The project looked at 325 gobbledygook phrases from a variety of sources, with the detailed analysis on the number of uses for each phrase done using Dow Jones Insight.

Here are the top 25 gobbledygook phrases used in press releases sent in North America 2008.


Gobbledygook terms were drawn from these sources:

Gobbledygook - Informal survey of my journalist friends in order to create The Gobbledygook Manifesto, first published in 2007.

- Seth Godin's Encyclopedia of Business Clichés.

- This Paperclip is a Solution: A survey of general business and trade publication editors in September, 2006 by Dave Schmidt, VP, Public Relations Services at Smith-Winchester, Inc.

- The book Death Sentences: How Cliches, Weasel Words and Management-Speak Are Strangling Public Language by Don Watson

- Suggestions within comments in a Gobbledygook blog post I wrote in 2006.

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