Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Barnes & Noble twists the English language for the NY Times

Sometimes you have to wonder if public relations spokespeople have taken a step back and gone over what they are telling newspapers.

Case in point: today, Barnes & Noble laid off several top executives. When the New York Times called for a comment, here's what their spokeswoman said (pay attention to the mixed messages here):

"We made a small number of organizational changes here this week that are designed to better align our resources with our businesses. Barnes & Noble is a growing company with both our revenues and our new hires growing faster than they have in years."

Now I know David Copperfield is a master of misdirection, but these two sentences are pretty masterful at the craft.

Let's take a step back and dissect this...

If they laid off several people to "better align our resources with our business," yet in the very next breath they are "a growing company with... new hires growing faster than they have in years," well, holy smokes, make up your minds!

Are you hiring or firing?

If several executives were laid off, well, how are you growing faster than you have in years? Seems like opposite concepts to me.

If the business is growing, then shouldn't your resources be growing too if they are "aligned?"

I'm sure they spent a lot of time on this response, but, I have to say, for Barnes & Noble, this is truly not great literature. File this in the"Games & Puzzles" section.

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