Unreasonable Words: Job Ads

Russell Baker, the retired NYTimes columnist and droll memoirist once quipped:

The young cult of sociology, needing a language, invented one. There are many dead languages, but the sociologists’ is the only language that was dead at birth.

Fun, but not quite fair. A lot of academic prose seems, if not dead, at least deadly. Sociology can hardly be any worse than the 1980s vintage Lit Crit I slogged through.

But either Sociology or Lit Crit are paragons of Strunk and White clarity compared to most HR writing. A few excerpts that caught my eye as I trawled for some freelance gigs this morning:

From an education start-up’s site:

  • Experience with specific tools, such as Hadoop, Mahout, Hive, Drools and MapReduce, is a big plus.

Sounds like failed names for aliens in a B-movie. “Hadoop!, I told you never to spray Drools with MapReduce when we are outside the Hive. Foolish, man, what have you done?”  “But Mahout, I was just trying to …,” Sound of crashing asteroid cuts off dialogue. Blackout.

Even if I knew what any of these things were, I’m not sure how I’d mention it on a cover letter. “Good at Drools?”

And then there’s this gem from E-lance (a workplace version of Match.com).

We are looking for an english native speaker for Article Marketing, and internet marketing which includes writing and SEO

Job description:

We need a regular writer for various writing needs like article writing, review writing, web content etc. Should have a knowledge about SEO writing. This would be a long term relationship if satisfied with your initial work. The payment is $1 per 100 words, and the articles would be varied from 300-500 words.

The payment would be done for each project initially, but can be changed to weekly or monthly as we learn how to work.

Requirements:

US Native Writers. This is very mandatory, and please don’t contact if you are not.

Please send your sample articles.

You should do 100% unique work based on internet research. Copyscape is considered as one of the MOS for uniqueness.

All orders should be delivered considerably fast, like should be available to deliver 10-15 articles in 1-2 days. But this doesn’t mean that there would be that much…

Native English speakers who do “100% original work based on internet research” …sounds like a big chunk of the undergraduate population of North America. And a penny a word, for delivering “considerably fast,” what a deal! In fairness, this isn’t HR start-up gobbledegook. At least I can understand what they want, and it doesn’t seem to involve Drools.

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