Business English courses are springing up all over Brazil, but "corporate speak" English — the English that Chevron has been using — is a whole 'nother animal. "Corporate speak" is pure gobbledygook. It also minimizes whenever possible, like calling what's happened a "spill incident." That's so much lighter and less serious than an actual spill, isn't it? What a relief, we're just having an incident. Or referring to "the oil sheen" on the ocean's surface. I love that one. No thick, gloppy oil slick here, just a slight sheen, like the healthy sheen on a glowing face. The Brazilians believe that what's happened is an oil leak, and have consistently used the Portuguese word "vazamento" (for leak) in their discussions. Chevron, however, prefers the term "seep" as in, "We believe no new oil is seeping from the reservoir." More relief, our sheen is merely seeping, gradually and slowly.
|Chevron president George Buck|
A huge blowup of this picture hung on my office wall during my AMOCO CADIZ lawsuit days. It shows the last piece of the vessel — looking an awful lot like the shark from Jaws — looming over the little Breton fishing village of Le Conquet. For those who might be wondering how it all came out, the law firm I worked for won the case against Amoco. Amoco appealed, and lost the appeal. It takes decades, but truth can prevail.