Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Demise of TV Business Prompts Philips CEO To Make Up Words

The New York Times reported this morning that Philips would no longer make TVs to sell in the U.S. or Canada, but would instead license its name to a cut-rate Japanese manufacturer.
That prompted a quote from Paul Zeven, Philips' North American CEO that the move "allows the Philips brand to be very evident in the North American market and de-risks the profit potential."
First, he's redundant by saying "very evident." Then he concocts "de-risks," because as a CEO he's mandated to speak in corporate gobbledeygook and not take the trouble to use a few extra words to say what he really meant in proper English.
Then again, there's nothing that says a reporter, in this case Eric Taub, is compelled to quote him verbatim spouting nonsense. Taub could have paraphrased that more artfully with little or no effort. Or, since he was interviewing Zeven and not quoting from a press release, Taub could simply have asked him what he really meant.
Imagine that. Then he could have de-risked the possibility that we wouldn't have understood the story better.

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