Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The longest ever email disclaimer ?
Nortel Wins Role in BT’s 21 Century Network, said a press release I just had from Nortel. The release was 561 words long; the email it was attached to was 193 words long.
At the end of the release was an 1100-word disclaimer which started out "Certain statements in this press release may contain words such as “could”, “expects”, “may”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, ”targets”, “envisions”, “seeks” and other similar language... ". It included (unless I missed a full-stop somewhere) one incredible 870 word sentence, starting "Further, actual results or events could differ materially from those contemplated in forward-looking statements..." and ends "...or the share consolidation resulting in a lower total market capitalization or adverse effect on the liquidity of Nortel’s common shares. "
You can see the disclaimer in all its glory (in very small type) on the press release at Nortel's site.
The release came from a PR company called Pleon. I'm sure the Pleon peons are consummate professionals, sending this guff out through gritted teeth - but it's fitting that "pleon" means "more" and gives us the word pleonasm meaning "the use of more words than necessary to express an idea clearly".
As Pleon's own slogan puts it - so much more succinctly - this kind of thing is "Beyond Communications"