Pete has written a great article on the abuse and misuse of English in beery PR-ish marketing circles:
I was reminded of this lesson earlier this month, when I went to the press launch of some new beers. We were told about the strong "head winds" in the market, and how this necessitated moving into"‘innovation white space" that would help people "navigate and explore" the "beer category", making full use of "fixturisation". We were then introduced to a "serious trilogy play" that would hopefully "disrupt" both the core market and its "adjacencies".
I once made full use of fixturisation. I'd be careful of ever doing that again.
Pete reviews the causes: comfort with jargon, simple laziness as well as what he calls credibility but what I take to mean the need to project the appearance of credibility. I worked once with someone hired as a supposed expert who laced every sentence with acronyms. Once I started asking what each one meant as we moved along through meetings, it because pretty clear that there may have been something of a fraud being perpetuated.
But there is something else at play, too, that is more about language than the beer. Look at every word or phrase in his paragraph and you can see the migration of a concept from another field. Adjacencies, I have learned, is a concept in workplace layout that architects might use. The right people need desks near their logical peers. Head wind and navigate clearly come from sailing. White space? Is that the tabula rasa? Could be but it also could just be a muddled phony-ness, too.
Such migrations are a total waste of effort. There are too many great beer words, simple but specific. Words like malt and wort, firkin and kilderkin. They just don't harken to a earlier day or speak to the fan boy technician. They roll off the tongue, confident in the inherent loveliness of their own sound. Find me a branding writer who can capture these sounds and I might even forget that it's marketing. I once was presented with a group of uni-lingual unannounced Swedes in my own living room, in-laws of in-laws on a tour. One word was all it took to achieve understanding: øl. All the languid welcoming pleasures of beer were there in that one soft, leisurely syllable and the smiles that accompanied its being spoken.