This Exciting World First Groundbreaking Game-Changing Breakthrough Brought To You By The Leading Company In Press Hype

from the words-to-erase-from-your-press-release dept

Last year, we wrote about how the Freakonomics guys studied the language used in real estate ads and noticed that you could tell which houses actually weren’t that good based on the choice of words used. It might be interesting if they were to do the same thing about press releases. We’ve complained in the past that just about every press release we receive calls the company “the leader” in whatever field or market it’s in. Now, the WSJ is pointing out the overuse of the word “breakthrough” in press release headlines as well. Of course, most people who have received more than a couple of these press releases immediately learns to ignore such words. In some cases, it actually increases the skepticism towards those announcements. As with the real estate ads, the important thing is in what is really there, rather than the descriptive adjectives being used to spruce up the pitch.

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Comments on “This Exciting World First Groundbreaking Game-Changing Breakthrough Brought To You By The Leading Company In Press Hype”

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Sanguine Dream says:


Leader in (insert name of market)
#1 (insert name of market)
and my personal favorite…
the word “Innovative”

I am almost to the point where I start reading a tech article and as soon as I see the work innovative I stop reading it. And I am well beyond that point when it comes to reading comments of said articles. Most of the people that post on /. fling the word innovative around in hopes that it will give them a +1-5 credibility boost…

Juhani Polkko (user link) says:

Purple Farts

The great Guy Kawasaki defines these words as ‘purple farts’ (#1 Google hit, I don’t know who invented it). Quoting:

‘Avoid “purple farts”—adjectives that sound impressive but carry no substance. “Next generation” and “dynamic” probably don’t mean anything to your readers (unless you are talking about DRAM).’

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