Software cuts 'bull' from corporate US


  • Business
  • Wednesday, 18 Jun 2003

NEW YORK: A new software programme sends a clear message to corporate America – cut out the bull. 

New York-based Deloitte Consulting admitted it helped foster confusing, indecipherable words like “synergy,” “paradigm” and “extensible repository,” but now has decided enough is enough.  

It would release “Bullfighter” to help writers of business documents to avoid jargon and use clear language. 

“We've had it with repurposeable, value-added knowledge capital and robust, leveragable mindshare,” Deloitte Consulting partner Brian Fugere said yesterday. 

“Bullfighter,” as the software is called, could help investors spot troubled companies. Used to test language used by now-bankrupt energy trader Enron from 1999 through 2001, Fugere said the programme found “it got progressively more obscure as they got deeper and deeper into trouble.” 

“We think that's a good indicator of the linkage between clear and straight communications and business performance, including the issue of transparency and trust, which is such a big issue these days,” Fugere said. 

Photographs of matadors fighting real bulls accompany the instructions. 

Marketing director Chelsea Hardaway said the staff had fun developing the programme over nine months. They came up with about 10,000 “bullwords.” The final version has a dictionary of 350 words and allows users to add more. 

“It flags your 'bullwords' but then it gives you sort of a good-humoured lashing over why you have used those words,” Hardaway said of the programme, which works on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents much like those that check spelling. 

It can be downloaded for free at www.dc.com/bullfighter. – Reuters  

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