Don't Call Your GM Car A "Decapitating", "Kevorkianesque", "Rolling Sarcophagus", Or "You're Toast"

Tyler Durden's picture

Instead of "defective", GM suggests its employees use the phrase "does not perform to design" according to just released documents in the GM recall probe. However, the internal presentation provides a glimpse into the internal thinking at GM as it suggests the following 69 words should not be used in a company memo... including "Hindenburg", "spontaneous combustion", and "Kevorkianesque."


Via WSJ,

The full 69 banned 'judgment' words...


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, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenadelike, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, Hobbling, Horrific, impaling, inferno, Kevorkianesque, lacerating, life-threatening, maiming, malicious, mangling, maniacal, mutilating, never, potentially-disfiguring, powder keg, problem, rolling sarcophagus (tomb or coffin), safety, safety related, serious, spontaneous combustion, startling, suffocating, suicidal, terrifying, Titanic, unstable, widow-maker, words or phrases with a biblical connotation, you’re toast


and in case you needed a little more help... here are some more translations...


"Trust" them.. they're from the government...

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willpoi's picture

My GM is Keynesian

Dr. Engali's picture

69? Who says .gov doesn't have a sense of humor?


knukles's picture

So the phrase "This car hurts like a dripping penis" is OK.
Glad of that....

CPL's picture

Clap mobile is usually associated with the legacy GM brands of shaggin' wagon.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Good news, everyone! The following words are still A-OK:









emulsified passenger



sinister midget with a bucket and a mop

trailer park tornado-like

Fish Gone Bad's picture

You left off my favorite, CAR-B-QUE .  Mmmmmm car-b-que.

Confused's picture



As in the way the company has been run. 

BeetleBailey's picture


ParkAveFlasher's picture

Sir, we have a self-pulverizing rectal-skewer/blender non-DESIGN condition that, eventually, self-disintegrates via long term oxidation and self-cools.

XenoFrog's picture

A little penicillin used to clear that right up.

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

What was your first car? What did you do with it?
Is there an equation: fun vs safety. How much does fun increase with speed?
How much does safety decrease with speed? How about roads vs fields?
Show me a graph. I know at least one of you has one.
cars safer then running or useing a horse, cart.
Im sure the inventive could come up with lots of charts.

CPL's picture

78 Ford LTD.  Would go like a bat out of hell depending on the hill. The take off speed was awesome, 0 to $20 bucks in under a minute.

stormsailor's picture

43 ford wwii jeep. flathead 4 with the deepwater package.  it had a railroad tie welded to the frame for the front bumper.  would only go about 45 but if you yanked it off the road into a field of planted pine. it would just knock them completely down and never even slow down.

stant's picture

It was gov first effort at mandated healthcare, more of that to come. Be better off with a old corvair with a mpv player

BrosephStiglitz's picture

At some point in 20-30 years, people will be using the verb "to Bernanke" something.

"Did you hear about the latest production line?"
"You mean the one Bob was working on?"
"Yeah.  They had to recall 40% of last year's product." 
"Damn, .gov really Bernanke'd that one." 

thecoloredsky's picture

It's all good. GM stock up over 1% today. What planet am I on again? 

Bunga Bunga's picture

You are on Central Planning Planet. Everything is always fine, positive and better than expected. If something goes wrong,  than it's because of the weather.

caShOnlY's picture

Of course the phrase "piece of shit" is OK.

Mr. Magoo's picture

Or maybe "like a Pinto"

hangemhigh77's picture

They can use "Fukuppy" though?

Eternal Complainer's picture

They forgot to include lemon.
Unless its already included in the legacy banned list of automotivly blasphemous words never to be used.

hangemhigh77's picture

And "POS" as well. That's applicable.

CPL's picture

Forsale:  V6 engineered shitbox, cash peddle works well with new flint-stone brake system.  Rolls nicely on tight curves, helmets included.  Clean engine, once.  Fresh paint holding rust together.  300,000 kilometres on odometer, low mileage.  Must be seen to be believed, ask for photos. OBO, 25k firm.


BrosephStiglitz's picture

Hindenburg?  Some of them must frequent ZH.

knukles's picture

Schrodinger (looking into empty box):  "Where's the fucking cat?"
Heisenberg: "How should I know?" 

Bunga Bunga's picture

On the other hand the word 'Zerohedge' is not banned.

StandardDeviant's picture

They ought to know by now that telling people not to use certain terms only inspires them to new heights of creativity.

There was a Telegraph story a few years ago about the employees of Disneyland Paris, who were ordered to stop referring to their place of employment as "Mauschwitz".  Within hours this was duly replaced by "Duckau".

mrdenis's picture

 "does not perform to design" ....could be describing Obama as well 

sessinpo's picture

mrdenis       "does not perform to design" ....could be describing Obama as well


Oh contrar, it is by design. Those that don't see that are way late in the game.

QE49er's picture

Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

bbq on whitehouse lawn's picture

What if you are driving, or your grandma is, driving the car in question.
Does X get a modifier or is it still just X.

SmackDaddy's picture

fuck yeah.  My X gets a big fucking modifier.  Who else is going to work to pay for this shit?  old people, on the other hand... well, i figure theyve had a pretty good run just to make it to old...

oh, and its from fight club fag

hangemhigh77's picture

GM needs a mascot.  How about a flaming corpse lying on a highway? Corpseboy

stormsailor's picture

they could have hefty bags instead of air-bags for that messy cleanup.  and automatic cross to pop out on the side of the highway, with flowers is optional.

Eternal Complainer's picture

I guess we're not too far away from another mass book burning and possible implementation of thought police.

ebworthen's picture

Exactly.  Downright Orwellian.  Doublespeak in the flesh.

Mix in 2 lbs. of 1984, bake at Fahrenheit 451, cool on metal rack, then carve slices of our new reality.  Doubleplusgood.

hangemhigh77's picture

GM trucks, "Like a Crock (of shit)"

FieldingMellish's picture

Everything the government touches it destroys.

p00k1e's picture

GM was on the stretcher > government brought the paddles.

The U.S. is drowning in fiscal pollution.

hangemhigh77's picture

GM' GEO - "Gee, OoHHHHHH, IT'S ON FIRE!!!!!"

hangemhigh77's picture

I wonder why they stopped at 69.  Hmmmmm, maybe the guys secretary was on his desk at the time.

Miss Expectations's picture

John Oliver

In light of General Motors' recall of 11 million vehicles and recently-leaked public relations memo, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver made a new, honest ad for their cars.

Anasteus's picture

Slavery underway.

Global Hunter's picture

There are some words in that list I didn't even know were used but they are very funny and I will now. "Disembowling", "grenadelike", "potentially-disfiguring" and from the headline "Kevorkianesque" and "rolling-sarcophagus".  Thanks GM that is some funny shit.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Control the language and you control the mind. The body soon follows.

Rainman's picture

Peak anal retentive thinking on display...but necessary when you believe your employees are all idiots.