What is gobbledygook?

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If you are among the #IMU crowd, you probably have the word “gobbledygook” stuck in your head since one of the famous sentences spam bots like to write over at #IMU hashtag on Twitter is citation of David Meerman Scott:

David Meerman Scott – No business-speak gobbledygook – “Speak to your buyer personas in their language, not yours.” #IMU 😛

The bots run that sentence over and over again spaming us with it, but do you know what gobbledygook actually means and where it comes from? I’ll let Marina (HotForWords) explain it to you in this awesome video (note, video might not be so “awesome” to you if you’re a woman or a homosexual):

Basically, the word gobbledygook was first used in 1944 by Maury Maverick in his memo banning the use of gobbledygook language. Maverick was extremely frustrated with language bureaucrats used. The word “gobbledygook” is also used as an onomatopoeic imitation of a turkey’s gobble. Pronunciation: GOB-ul-dee-GOOK.

Useful gobbledygook resources:

  • There is a tool called Gobbledygook Grader that enables you to test your content against the use of this bureaucratic language. As spamers always remind us at #IMU, it’s a good thing to speak to your customers like a person, in a language they understand, a language free of business gobbledygook.
  • The Plain English Campaign, that’s fighting for crystal-clear communication since 1979 has created a gobbledygook generator, a simple online tool that generates gobbledygook for you. It’s created to point out how gobbledygook language is ridiculous and has no meaning whatsoever or it’s meaning is to general to accurately apply to anything (can be applied to everything).

Examples of gobbledygook:

  • At base level, this just comes down to global incremental programming.
  • I can make a window to discuss your optional administrative alignment.
  • Our upgraded model now offers total monitored consulting.
  • Only geeks stuck in the 90s still go for dot-com policy matrix approaches.


About Toni Anicic

eCommerce Consultant

SEO. Professional gaming. Home-brewed beer. Magento Certified Solution Specialist.

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