‘Solutions’: Can we please ban this word?

Four reasons this meaningless word should never see the light of day again.

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Yet this low-point of the business lexis just won’t die. Few professionals, it seems, can resist the pull of the pretentious when they push their wares.

Yesterday I came across the repeated use of “solutions” in a brochure for a communications team. You’d think they’d have access to a copywriter who might know better. (Though the document also contained alarmingly frequent references to “our value proposition,” whatever that means.)

So in the war on “solutions,” I hereby present my four top reasons to bury this nasty word once and for all.

1. It’s inevitably used in a pompously opaque phrase to describe something very simple. For example, I came across a company advertising itself as a provider of “fluid transfer solutions.”

It turns out they made hoses. Yes, hoses.

Had I been in need of a hose that day, they’d have lost a sale simply because a potential customer had no idea what they were selling.

I’m sure if you’re in the rather mundane business of selling hoses, you might feel the need to build yourself up among your dinner party circle now that it’s no longer cool to brag about the size of your mortgage.

But to put off potential customers in this way is madness verging on bankruptcy.

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