If Bureaucrats
Wrote Ads

As an entertaining way of showing his students the difference between lean, expressive writing and inflated prose, Dr. Gerald Grow--professor of magazine journalism at Florida A&M University-- rewrote some advertising slogans in bureaucratese.

Can you identify them? -- Click the button for the answers.

(To clear the answers, close this file and re-open it.)

1. It is advisable to effect an expeditious execution of your present project on the earliest timeline, with the purpose of facilitating achievement of the goals implicit in your intentions.

2. Cogitate in a manner that is immediately distinguishable from the processes of thinking employed by others.

3. The purpose of this communication is to ascertain whether you are sufficiently provisioned with the lactic secretions of bovines.

4. Executed from a formula adequate to meet the perspiration breakdown byproduct odor offensiveness detection threshhold reduction requirements associated with masculine subbrachial cutaneous excretions, marketed to a target audience of the opposite gender.

5. The company announces its corporate pleasure in celebrating your presence in your own domicile and your attention to the announcements presented on this program.

6. We invite you to take this opportunity to suspend the kinds of socially productive goal-directed activities that provide the defining characteristics of people who have to work hard to earn enough to purchase even cheap imitations of this brand, and to indulge yourself in unfocused, self-absorbed reflexivity of the type exemplified by the models pictured in this ad.

7. The beverage is represented as functioning in a manner that generally facilitates the interactivity of interpersonal processes.

8. It is argued that members of the female gender have made significant progress in relevant competitive contexts by means of unspecified accomplishments in the recent past.

9. The undifferentiated semantic identity of the beverage with a considerable and perhaps universal quantity of undefined referents, expressed as a single inclusive variable, is hereby asserted.

10. Comparable to hardness and durability characteristics associated with certain geological categories, but specifically not with friable sedimentary types or aerated igneous pumices.

11. Where production processes, data analysis networks, corrective feedback mechanisms, and training programs are tuned to the goal of maintaining measurable defects at a level below the statistical threshold of six sigma.

12. Even though a number of personnel have interpreted the company slogan to imply that short-notice travel privileges available to a limited number of executives extend to their classification, it remains imperative that everyone file his or her itinerary in an expeditious manner in order to ensure that embarcation is preceded by the travel planning paperwork completion process.

Here is a wonderful example from John McWhorter's book Doing Our Own Thing:

13. Perform with spiritual dedication the bewitchingly vernacular songs familiar to us, young Caucasian male.

Copyright © 2002 by Gerald Grow
May be used freely for non-profit educational purposes.