Which 69 Words Did GM Ban From its Employees' Vocabularies?


Leaked 2008 document has some surprising entries.

In a prime example of the corporate ineptness that ruledGeneral Motors back in 2008, a leaked document provides a freaky glimpseat what it was like to work there – especially during the time it wasworking to muzzle reports regarding the various technical difficulties experienced by its models. Asking employees to refrain from being “cute or clever” is onething, but the full list of banned words is simply mind-blowing.

The list of words was circulated along with a condescending PDF file, explaining to employees just how important it is for them to use corporate rhetoric and refrain from using their brains or emotions. So what are the terrible words that could have brought GM down? Here is the full list: Always, annihilate, apocalyptic, asphyxiating, bad, Band-Aid, big time, brakes like an 'X' car, cataclysmic, catastrophic, Challenger, chaotic, Cobain, condemns, Corvair-like, crippling, critical, dangerous, deathtrap, debilitating, decapitating, defect, defective, detonate, disemboweling, enfeebling, evil, eviscerated, explode, failed, failure, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, hobbling, horrific,

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impaling, inferno, Kevorkianesque, lacerating, life-threatening, maiming, malicious, mangling, maniacal, mutilating, never, potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem, rolling sarcophagus, safety, safety related, serious, spontaneous combustion, startling, suffocating, suicidal, terrifying, Titanic, tomblike, unstable, widow-maker, words or phrases with biblical connotation, you're toast.