Archive for July, 2009

Why you’ll never find a hedge fund called Bob

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

I’m reading a book about finance at the moment and in it I came across a hedge fund called:

The High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund

Quite a mouthful, eh? (more…)

How not to write a job advert

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

A reader forwarded the following job advert to me. I believe it to be genuine, so if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with him.

Reporting directly to the CEO, and functioning as critical member of the global senior leadership team, the MD-Sales, Europe (MDSE) will assume a key leadership/transformational role in the organization. He/she will directly manage, upgrade and continue to build out/enhance a European sales team (provide leadership, direction, coaching, mentoring, sales discipline, team building etc.). Individual will, also, educate and train European staff members (sales and delivery/operations) to embrace and execute against an evolving, transformational shift in go-to-market strategy. Acting as the Company’s external thought leader, spokesperson and evangelist for the European community, the MDSE will clearly and inspirationally articulate and promote the Company’s innovative vision and messaging in order to build awareness and ongoing traction in the marketplace.

I’m so glad this a job that I’m singularly unqualified to do. (more…)

Thirty words and phrases you need to stop using today

Friday, July 24th, 2009

There’s plenty more where this comes from. I’ve got another 70 at least, so this will just be the first in a series of posts. Leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet them under #wordsthatshouldbebanned. Click on hyperlinked words for fuller coverage on goodcopybadcopy.

In no particular order . . .

1. Bandwidth
Please don’t tell me you don’t have the “bandwidth” to take on a project. I’ll just assume you mean you don’t have the mental capacity to do it. And I’m probably right. (more…)

The Big Cliché

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Organising a campaign? Want to get everyone involved? Keen to sound inclusive, exciting and a little bit down with the kids? Not sure what to call it? Why, just add to the list . . . (more…)

Strapline clichés to avoid #3: “working together”

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Read the strapline attached to any branch of local government or publicly funded service in the UK and you’ll soon realise just how much touchy-feely teamwork is involved in bleeding you of your hard-earned taxes. (more…)

Strapline clichés to avoid #2: any strapline that includes the word “passion” (but especially if it’s combined with “excellence”)

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Sooo, the last person on a final salary pension left the firm years ago.

Repeated rounds of redundancies have left people wondering if they’re next out the door.

And you’ve just asked your workers to take a pay cut because “we all need to pull together to survive the recession” (and, ahem, because your now departed chief financial officer decided to refinance the company with a derivative contract that his investment bankers told him would make him look great in front of his boss. Jeez, what kind of an idiot agrees to be on the other side of a bet with an investment bank?)

But despite all this, you still think your employees have an intense, emotional attachment to their work. And that the phrase “a passion for excellence” captures exactly how your firm gets things done. (more…)

Strapline clichés to avoid: the alliterative triplet

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Need to come up with a strapline that really sums up your company? Think carefully before going the way of the alliterative triplet.

Alliterative triplets are straplines where three words are chosen not because they capture the very essence of the brand they describe, but because, well, they just happen to share the same initial letter.

They’re the corporate equivalent of the bad poem that rhymes for the sake of it. (more…)

How to answer the dreaded question: “So tell me, what do you do?”

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Like most writers, I’m a natural introvert (ignore what some of my friends will tell you). For me, the very phrase “working a room” has the same effect as:

catching your teeth on the opening of a canned drink

being trapped in a small room with a larger-than-average moth

insert your particular phobia or teeth-on-edge trigger here.


Words that should be banned: hydration

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

img_2165One of the downsides of living in a western industrialised nation is that you’re constantly being bombarded with mendacious marketing messages by charlatans trying to sell you something that’s free, abundant and available on tap – literally.

The chief way they do it is to suggest that bottled water offers health benefits that mere tap water can’t offer. I guess it makes us all feel a little less squeamish about paying for something we’re given for free when people across whole swathes of the planet are dying of thirst every day. (more…)

Good copy alert!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

bottle Today I’m going to break with tradition.

Instead of mocking an example of bad copy, as is my wont, I’d like to introduce you to some copy that I think is good – really good.

So good, in fact, that your usually pedantic goodcopybadcopy blogger is prepared to overlook the occasional punctuation lapse (I would have inserted a hyphen here, a comma there).

To the left, you see a bottle of Punk IPA, described oxymoronically on the bottle as a “post modern classic pale ale”.

It’s produced by BrewDog, an independent Scottish brewery founded in 2007 by two young entrepreneurs who are clearly passionate about their trade.

I have a bias to declare. I love this beer. It’s my current favourite tipple. In fact, here at goodcopybadcopy towers we’ve just taken delivery of 60 bottles of it to see us through the summer.