A rash of solutions…
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Unblotted was conceived as an ongoing series of one-shots about the written communications of named businesses and organizations. Although we’ve largely stuck to the brief, certain recurring themes have nevertheless emerged.
In previous posts, we’ve considered the increasing visibility of translated copy, an intriguing shift deserving of more attention. This and next week’s posts take a more general theme: the unfortunate tendency for corporate style to descend into cliché.
One example of that tendency is the rash of solutions which has infested two decades of business communications.
The origins of the solutions epidemic are obvious. Imagine an established trucking company which has chosen to diversify. It now offers light haulage, overnight deliveries, rail and air transshipments, courier vans and temperature-controlled warehousing. Phew! Too much information!! Logistics solutions would make for a snappier business card and a cooler website. Management’s preference for the newly-minted phrase is both entirely predictable and absolutely correct.
But, once the solutions bug is in the air, it starts to affect other businesses. Some of them are hyphenates whose claim on this novel syntax is perfectly legitimate. Others are just pretentious wafflers.
NCP is, I’m sorry to say, among the latter. The phrase parking solutions might sound impressive for a moment, but another moment’s reflection will show that there are only so many ways to rent out seven square metres of asphalt. Whatever ‘new and exciting product launches’ the copywriter has in mind, it’s unlikely that they will command the reader’s attention to the extent she claims to anticipate.
NCP really shouldn’t be singled out for adopting the phrase parking solutions when the word parking would have served better. After all, the company is just one offender among thousands, and you’d probably find another five examples on your first page of Google search results. But a rewrite is still in order.
We dedicate our straight-down-the-line edit to William of Ockham, the medieval cleric whose contention was that the simpler solution is always preferable. Free sticker to the first reader who correctly predicts next week’s related (but distinct) theme.
Britain’s favourite car parks
NCP is the UK’s #1 car park operator, with public and business parking spaces in towns the length and breadth of the British Isles. The chances are you’re already a customer… whether or not you spotted our branding when you parked your vehicle.
Even if you didn’t notice us, we certainly noticed you. In fact, whether you’re a business or an individual, NCP has already taken time to understand your parking needs, and to tailor our offer precisely to your requirements.
Underpinning all this is our belief that parking your car should be a seamless and stress-free experience. And, every day, we use our best efforts to make it so.
Explore our current offer on this website, and stay tuned for new and exciting product launches.