Why Did It Have to Be Fake? The BullScanner

03 Apr Why Did It Have to Be Fake? The BullScanner

April Fool’s Day 2013 presented us with a wide variety of pranks, from Google’s answer to Smell-O-Vision to SpeakerBox’s move to the moors of Scotland, but as always, there are a few that one wishes were actually real.  For me, it’s the BullScanner.

The faux product was the April Fool’s Day prank from Rohit Bhargava, the man behind the excellent Influential Marketing Blog.  A stand-alone barcode-type scanner, the BullScanner was proposed to scan document language to create a Linguistic Relativity Score (LRS).  If a score was too low, it meant that the document was full of BS – the BullScanner would then take matters into its own hands, destroying the document and punishing the creator with a savage electroshock.

Petty?  Yes.  Disturbingly accurate with regards to today’s business language environment?  Also yes.

Business language, especially in press releases, can be an utter nightmare to deal with from a public relations perspective – “dynamic” this, “bleeding edge” that, and so on.  Finding something, anything, to automate the weeding out process would be incredibly helpful – while the BullScanner is obviously a prank, it brings me back to the days of an old Word plug-in called BullFighter, which was designed to recognize and eliminate jargon within documents.  The site is still live but looks mostly untouched since the heady days of XP, so I doubt it’s a viable option anymore.

So what about you?  Do you have problems with jargon invading your content?  Any sweet, automated tools to handle it or are we editors doomed to suffer through the tedium of manual jargon removal?

–John Terrill

John Terrill
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