EU

Eurospeak – Untangling the web of words

Deconstruct the sentence and reconstruct the meaning

Words. They’re everywhere we look, and what’s even more alarming is the amount of jargon-style prose, all in the name of grabbing attention.

Deconstruct-the-sentence-and-reconstruct-the-meaning

Deconstruct-the-sentence-and-reconstruct-the-meaning

As European Institutions, companies and PR gurus would have you believe, at least from their media releases, the more text the better. Surely the key to reaching the man on the ground, or the more arduous task of striking a chord within the average citizen is to drown them in information. Every last bite, or rather every last word. In short this is not the way forward, and in fact it is not the way at all.

Unless your passion is academia and you have a penchant for scrutinising the meaning in every last word, the rest of us just want to hear it and get on with it. Extensive texts require a great deal more attention and brain engagement than most consumers are willing to offer.

So cut out the unnecessary, cut out the far–reaching phrases, which you’d like to think appeal to a better place. The fact is meaningless words do more to bore or disinterest the reader than to catch their attention. Realise this – your readers are busy, checking their phones, buying some lunch, or even staring at a goldfish. The way to engage with them is not to pile more on to their already overloaded brains.

Take for example the following ‘stock phrases’:

  • It will always remain of critical importance
  • Time after time we’ve demonstrated
  • It is our intention to maintain…

You may think of these as essential packaging and of course we don’t advocate being crude. However, we do advocate appreciating the minimal time and attention span in which you have to make an impact. So use it wisely. Use it effectively.

Essentially, keep it simple and keep it relevant, this way, you might actually have a shot at getting that elusive return on investment or invoking a sense of curiosity on that new launch that’s “for want of a better word,” – clearly, bound to take the world by storm.

  mesogio   Feb 13, 2013   Copyediting, Copywriting, editorial, EU, infographics, simplification, social media   Comments Off on Eurospeak – Untangling the web of words Read More

Guardian reporting EU commits racist foul in video

The European commission has been forced to withdraw a high-budget video promoting the EU amid accusations that it depicts other cultures in a racist manner. A row broke out after the enlargement directorate of the European commission, which is responsible for the expansion of the EU, released a video clip that was designed to appeal to young voters. The video, entitled Growing Together, features a white woman dressed in yellow – the colour of the stars of the EU – walking calmly through a warehouse. As a gong sounds, she looks behind her as an aggressive Chinese-looking man shouting kung fu slogans jumps down in the style of the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. As he moves towards her, an Indian-looking man in traditional dress wielding a knife levitates towards her. He is a master of kalaripayattu, a martial art from the southern Indian state of Kerala. As she deals with him, a black man with dreadlocks cartwheels towards her in the style of capoeira, the Brazilian martial art. The woman stares at the men. She then multiplies herself to form a circle around the men who drop their weapons and sit down. The woman’s yellow outfit then turns into the stars of the EU. The video shows the words: “The more we are, the stronger we are.” It then says: “Click here to learn more about EU enlargement.” (The Guardian)
  mesogio   Mar 07, 2012   advertising, digital media, EU, standards   Comments Off on Guardian reporting EU commits racist foul in video Read More