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Crocachit!

Richard Rodden
Thursday, January 30, 2003

Related News:

Do You Speak Crocachit?

Crocachit...Believe it or not, Corporate America does have its very own language.  I call it the "Crocachit" language.  I remember listening to an investor conference call for a company I was considering buying stock in. The new CEO said, "I am even more excited today about our company's prospects than I was when I started here three months ago." Something about the way he said it, I thought to myself, "What a crock of s---!" Thus, the "Crocachit" language was born. Within weeks of the conference call, the company's stock crashed, and the new CEO resigned "to pursue other professional goals"-more Crocachit. I guess the excitement was gone after a few short months and so was several million dollars from the company's coffers to pay off his contract.

 Here are some examples of the Crocachit language:

What he said
"The $100 million loss was due to unusual and nonrecurring transactions."
Translation
"We screwed up and may do so in the future."

What he said
"We owe it all to our talented and dedicated employees."
Translation
"It's time to reduce head count."

What he said
"We believe in providing options to all of our employees."
Translation
"Executives will receive stock options, and everyone else has the option of keeping his or her job."

What he said
"We are working with our lenders."
Translation
"Man, are we screwed!"

What he said
"We are optimistic and believe we have a very bright future."
Translation
"The sun will shine tomorrow, but this company is toast."

What he said
"I am resigning to pursue other professional goals."
Translation
"I broke the law and need to get the heck out of here."

What he said
"Your resume and qualifications are very impressive."
Translation
"We'll find some other reason not to hire you."

What he said
"Our Internet initiative is one of the boldest in our industry."
Translation
"We finally have a Web site."

What he said
"We love your idea and are prepared to make you a great offer."
Translation
"Take our measly offer, or we'll steal your idea."

What he said
"I'll get back to you on that."
Translation
"I've already forgotten your name and telephone number."

What he said
"We are committed to providing long-term shareholder value."
Translation
"When I make my money, I'm outta here."

What he said
"We expect to exceed our earnings forecast for the third quarter."
Translation
"We expect our CFO to pull another rabbit out of his hat simply by tweaking a few of our many reserves or transferring some profits from one of our offshore businesses."

What he said
"We care about the environment."
Translation
"We care about this company's financial environment."

What he said
"I expect next year to be very profitable."
Translation
"Next year I can opt out of my contract and sail away with my golden parachute."

What he said
"With the merger of our companies, we'll greatly improve operating efficiency."
Translation
"It'll take us years and millions of dollars to integrate our companies."

What he said
"We are thrilled to have one of the top executives in the country as our new CEO."
Translation
"The first five guys turned us down, so we are stuck with this guy."

What he said
"By combining the strengths of our companies, we're hoping to reach new heights."
Translation
"If we pile up enough crap, maybe we can climb out of this pit." 

About the author
Richard Rodden is a CPA with twenty years of experience on Wall Street.  This article is excerpted from his book, "Observations of a Bean Counter: An Off-the-Wall (Street) Look at Corporate America."


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