Return of the bla-bla meter

blablameterOver 10 years ago, this blog reported on a wonderful new toy. It had the polite name bla bla meter (you can guess what the less polite version might be). It was a simple online tool that measured the bla-bla level of any piece of text. The scores ranged from 0.1 to 1 – the lower the better.

IP Draughts remembers putting the judgments of Sir Robin Jacob and Lord Neuberger into the meter, and not being suprised that they scored very well – 0.16 to 0.19.

Something prompted him to return to the meter today. He was relieved to see that the last article on this blog scored fairly well. He tried out the SRA’s rules of conduct for English solicitors. They were middle of the road – could do better, but not the worst examples of corporate speak. He then tried the Law Society’s latest three-year strategy. Oh dear! It scored very badly.

It was revealing to see which of the Society’s four strategic objectives scored highest on the scale.

Best (least bla bla) was objective 2 – the rule of law and access to justice.

Next came objective 4 – being an employer of choice.

This was followed by objective 1 – promoting the value of the profession and having a compelling member offer.

Worst was objective 3 – maximising the Society’s commercial potential. This scored so badly that it “broke” the meter, by scoring more than 1.

IP Draughts is not suprised by these relative scores. The office holders of the Law Society genuinely care about the justice system, and the new CEO cares about being an employer of choice. The text on these two points is relatively direct.

The Society says it wants to focus on members’ interests, but isn’t always convincing. And it wants to be more commercial, but IP Draughts doubts the Society’s commercial skills. The text used to express these objectives had excessive amounts of bla bla.


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2 responses to “Return of the bla-bla meter

  1. Thanks, Debra. So as not to be unduly severe on the SRA and Law Society, I put this page through the meter, which I found via the IPReg website:

    It came back with a very high score (0.94) and the following comment: “Is this even English? You must be either a PR-Expert, Politician, Consultant or Scientist. If there is a message, it’s unlikely it will reach anyone. Maybe you should spend less effort on trying to impress somebody.”

  2. I obviously didn’t see your earlier post about this, but I liked it so much that I have added it to my “favourites”. I want to see how much some of the articles coming out from my contacts score and just to be fair I will see how much some of my communications score. Thank you.

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