Saturday, August 14, 2010

Corporate Jargon – Who Said That?

As the 3 regular readers of this blog probably know, we hate jargon. Corporate America simply loves to say less with more. In a recent issue of Business Travel News we found some excellent examples of political/lawyer/PR/financial geek-speak.

In a sidebar to an article headlined, “Airlines Unlikely To Add Much Capacity,” were the following quotes from the CEOs of the “big 5” domestic airlines. See if you can match the quote with the speaker (listed most jargon-filled to least, with our added emphasis).

1. “I expect to continue this rigorous domestic capacity discipline as we look to optimize the merged carrier suite across the combined network.” 4-Star Jargon Award

2. “While some of our competitors have suggested increases in their forward guidance, we continue to believe that capacity constraint is essential for margin improvement.” 3-Star Jargon Award; Bonus “Huh?” Award

3. “Overall industry capacity should not grow faster than gross domestic product here in the U.S. or anywhere in the world, for that matter.” 2-Star Saying-Nothing Award

4. “By the end of 2010, our fleet will be 91 aircraft smaller, but we’ll be able to generate the same amount of revenue. We’ll continue this strategy in 2011 and reduce our fleet by another 20 aircraft.” 1-Star How-Can-That-Be? Award

5. “We’ve reduced our capacity and focused our flying on areas of competitive strength.” 1-Star What-Is-That? Award

a. American CEO Gerard Arpey

b. Continental CEO Jeff Smisek

c. Delta CEO Richard Anderson

d. United CEO Glenn Tilton

e. USAirways CEO Doug Parker

Answers: 1b, 2d, 3a, 4c, 5e