Re: JOB POSTING: Technical Marketing Writer

Subject: Re: JOB POSTING: Technical Marketing Writer
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 13:32:00 -0700

At 11:52 AM 4/25/97 MDT, Ron Sering wrote:
>I'd rather see job postings written in Pig Latin than not to see them at
all. I think the same netiquette observed for all other postings, such as
refraining from criticizing spelling, grammar, etc. should apply to job
postings as well.
Every time I read Ron's name too quickly, I think that the creator of The
Twilight Zone has returned from the dead. But I digress.

Like Ron, I was not especially offended by the original job posting,
although it seems clear that there are people - some of them apparently on
this list - who, probably through no fault of their own, are severely
bafflegab-intolerant. Ron's suggestions, however, are too rational to be
taken seriously. This is, after all, the modern world; we must look to
technology to get us out of this pickle.

Here is my modest proposal. The Job Posting thread convinces me that word

applications need another tool besides spelling and grammar checkers - call
it a hype

checker - to detect serious instances of bafflegab in any message or
document. Submit your prose to the hype checker and it produces a
gobbledegook index rather like the Flesch readability index that Grammatik
used to do. Like the spelling checker, the hype checker is
user-configurable. You can add offensive words or phrases (like "top
performer," "leading edge," "market leader," etc.) and perhaps even assign a
weight (1 to 10) to each term to calculate the gibberish quotient of any

At the least, the hype checker gives you a gobbledegook index number as
output: 86, say, out of 100. Or it can optionally produce a verbose warning
that is stored with the message/document to warn unsuspecting readers:

"This message/document is rated 86 on the gobbledegook index. It contains
more than twice the daily allowance of gibberish recommended by the American
Psychological Association and can cause a condition known as MEGO (My Eyes
Glaze Over). Readers lacking tolerance for intellectual horse manure should
proceed at their own risk."

There are two ways to go here.

- The application automatically adds this information to the file/message
header so that it is displayed when it opened or viewed in an email client, or
- The reader can configure the word processor or email client to run the
hype checker before the file/message is displayed.

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