Nouns stacks


Image taken from http://dougcookrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Confused-Woman.jpg
Image taken from http://dougcookrd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Confused-Woman.jpg

Acme enables you to build agile software development tools using code box tools.

Peruse the website of any company that builds software or maintains software and you are bound to come across such noun stacks. Like a freight train, you get noun after noun appended together to form, what I assume is, a term that makes you feel the company is doing something special.

Noun stacks have one, and only one, use – to shorten the length of a sentence. The only place it makes sense to use a noun stack in on a UI screen where real estate is at a premium.

But in any other case, the noun stack is a liability. Let us take the example of an agile software development tool. When this term is thrown at a customer, there is too much happening there for the customer to really grasp what the tool is about. You cannot control how the customer will break up the stack during reading and may end up misunderstanding the tool altogether. The term in question maybe broken up as

agile software + development tool

agile + software development tool

Is that a risk you are willing to take, just so you can sound sophisticated?

So how would you rewrite the sentence?

Acme enables you to build tools that support the agile method of software development by using tools from a code box.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. MishaBurnett says:

    You are making the assumption that the purpose of advertising copy is to convey meaning, which is a tenuous premise at best.

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