Stop the rot! Why we need to use ‘real’ words

I have an important message for you.

As a leader in my field, and as part of my ongoing commitment to best practice, innovation and sustainability, I constantly strive to generate evocative statements that inspire and empower my stakeholders to achieve and exceed their expectations and bring their overarching vision, mission, goals and objectives into critical alignment, while ensuring operational and strategic methodologies are in synergy.

OR I could have said…

I use words that speak to my audience.

Yep, this post is about Weasel Words, Motherhood Statements, Corporate Speak, Buzzwords – or we could call it what it really is…WORD ROT…or in the spirit of this blog…a steaming pile of excrement from an intact adult male of the species Bos Taurus.

Like Wood Rot eats aways at the structure and foundations of a home, Word Rot eats away at the meaning of our words, destroying the integrity of our statements.

I call on all corporates, business owners, marketers, actually everyone to have their rot detector on high alert when writing.

Forget corporate speak – you need to write and speak like you mean it, write like it’s a real conversation, speak to your audience, and mean what you say.

Our audiences are smart people and trust me can read through the rot – if you want cut through in your writing…it’s simple, stop the rot!

Here are my Top 10 Tips to Stop the Rot

1. Are you saying something, or a lot, without actually saying anything?

2. Is your statement vague or non-commital? eg. It is said by experts that…

3. Are you using buzzwords because you think you should? eg. We’re committed to innovation and sustainability

4. Are you making vague generalisations?

5. Is it hard to understand the meaning?

6. Are you making commitments or claims with no evidence? eg. We’re an Employer of Choice

7. Are you using weak verbs or action words? eg. ‘strive to’, instead of ‘will’

8. Are you trying to bamboozle the audience?

9. Are you being misleading or ambiguous? eg. replacing ‘firing staff’ with ‘streamlining the workforce’

10. Have you chosen words or a phrase because you think it’s a popular sentiment? eg. Our employees are our number one priority.


Could you put all the words you used in almost any order and they still make sense? If you answered yes, you have some A-grade rot on your hands there my friend.

Now for a bit of fun…here is a corporate speak generator where you can turn words like: ‘vision’ into ‘enthusiastically e-enable an expanded array of infrastructures’ and ‘innovation’ into ‘dramatically empower B2C synergy’.

If you need help stopping the rot, get in touch with me via or check out my post on choosing the right words for marketing.

Kylie Fennell
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