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Fluff Connected by Hyphens

May 22nd, 2015

It all started with the first person who wrote “detailed-oriented” on his or her résumé. It sounded really smart at the time. But millions of people have used it by now, and that has spawned a whole bunch of vague compound modifiers. For example, there is “customer-centric,” “mission-critical,” and “benefit-derived.”

Recently, we received a letter that said “geo-based products.” Reallly? What exactly is a geo-based product? Is it any product that’s not from outer space? Wouldn’t it be better to just describe the product’s inherent benefit? Vague compound modifiers are nothing more than fluff connected by hyphens. And fluff should be avoided, unless you’re writing about laundry products.

Bentley Brands is a brand communications firm that helps clients in the natural products industry grow their brands through unique, effective and highly personalized services.