Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My Motorway Reading (2)

I've posted before about the fatuous and often bizarre language used by companies to describe what they do. The slogans and mission statements often use 'solutions' as a catch-all term, and tend to pomposity when describing the most mundane matters. I observed a cracker today, on a van belonging to a company I hadn't heard of before: ProLicht, with the trendy inter-capital. Their business, according to the statement on the van, is "turnkey solutions for national and international corporate brand programmes." No, I had no idea, either. So I looked them up. As you might expect from the name, they are a German company, and their business is making signs. So, "turnkey solutions for national and international corporate brand programmes" means "signage". Their website is a treasure trove of corporate bollocks-speak, often using those incomplete sentences. You know. Like this. To seem more important. Or something.
They clearly don't think it's necessary to tell us what a turnkey solution is, so I checked with Wisegeek (much plagiarised by students, I note in passing) where  I am told that a turnkey solution is "a solution that can easily be implemented based on the resources already at the disposal of a company or individual." I'm not sure that gets me much further, but maybe it means that ProLicht will make you some signs that you can afford. I'm not sure, and the language of the website doesn't enlighten me further. For example – “Our customers are happy to work with us. We see this in the fact that they are doing so more and more intensively. Every year, they develop their cooperation with us on an ongoing basis.” I’m assuming that, as a customer, developing my co-operation with them on an ongoing basis means I use them more than once. Obviously, the fact that  “The entire process chain within view ensures the best quality” will make me want to use them again. It would, I’m sure, be enlightening to meet them. After all, “We would be happy to present in a personal meeting our company, our mindset, our approach, our diverse references and why our customers continuously extend their cooperation with us.”

3 comments:

Nogbad said...

I have to start by admitting that I've worked for companies which used this language. In my defence they were IT companies and literacy is generally low on the required skills in that environment. In broader terms I think the rise of this type of advertising is self-sustaining; if company X claim that they can offer "an epoch raising, cradle-to-grave, out of the box solution" company Y had better up the ante or they'll not get a call. It's important to remember that in many arenas, IT is the one I know best, the quality of the product is low down the list of reasons why a company will buy something. They want to be associated with a cool group of folk who will bandy around jargon with gay abandon and who will suggest that everyone drop tools and go to a little bistro to sip Sancerre. What these signs say might be rubbish to what they mean is different - to those who speak the language - it's like those whistles that only dogs can hear innit?

Rob Spence said...

You are wise, Nogbad. I await the arrival of turnkey solutions in HE with some trepidation.

Nogbad said...

Of course a turnkey is also an archaic term for a gaoler.......