Whenever I read copy that’s trying to bamboozle me with jargon or hyperbole, I’m always very suspicious – all the more so if it comes from a business trying to sell me something.
So if you’re in business and you want to win the trust of your customers, remember to always use plain, simple language that anyone can understand.
To illustrate the point, I’ve compiled a brief guide to the language of estate agents, possibly the most mistrusted profession on the planet. I’ve lifted all the words and phrases I’ve translated direct from a property magazine – if you come across any examples not listed here, please do post them.
Well-presented – painted magnolia throughout. Stains on the walls covered up just about long enough to get the property sold/rented.
Truly well-presented – as above but with fake wooden flooring.
Furnished to a very high standard – kitted out wholly in Ikea.
Furnished to a good standard – was a good standard the year Kennedy was shot.
Ideal investment opportunity – no sane person would actually want to live in this dump.
No onward chain – buy-to-let investor is getting out of the market before the crash.
Juliet balcony – a window with an iron railing in front of it.
City-facing Juliet balcony – it’s not overlooking the river and you won’t get any sun but you’ll think you’re living in Manhattan.
Shared front garden – a bit of grass on the pavement outside.
Benefits from (as in ‘benefits from doors and windows’) – has.
Further complemented with – also has.
Comprises of – I’m too illiterate to know how to use the word ‘comprise’.
This apartment also benefits from excellent proximity to the local first-rate amenities – this flat is next door to the Costcutter.
Vibrant area – crawling with drug dealers.
Open-plan fitted kitchen – there is no kitchen. They’ve stuck it in your living room.
Sub-penthouse – er . . . not a penthouse.
The reception room is a unique curved space – none of your furniture will ever look right in this funny little room.
Wet room – a tiled cupboard in lieu of the bathroom that’s been converted into a second bedroom to add £150K onto the asking price.
Charming – small.
Ideal for City workers – overpriced and so soulless that it’s only suitable for those who enjoy spending 100 hours a week at work.