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05/25/2014 12:19 AM

05/25/2014 12:20 AM


New GM exec has list of no-no words in repairing reputation

Tony Cervone has some memorization ahead of him. There are 69 words that his new employer desperately wants to keep out of people’s minds – words like “mutilating,” “inferno,” and “Kevorkianesque.”

General Motors on Monday named Tony Cervone senior vice president of GM global communications, effective immediately with the unenviable task of polishing the reputation of a brand that has been besieged by lawsuits, fines, government investigations and millions of recalls tied to faulty ignition switches connected to the deaths of at least 13 people.

In a recently released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document from 2008, GM outlined 69 words or phrases it felt should be avoided in any discussion of the (then potential) recalls. Reading like absurd answers from an “Addams Family” game of Mad-Libs, here’s an alphabetical list of the no-no words:

Always, annihilate, apocalyptic, asphyxiating, bad, Band-Aid, big time, brakes like an ‘X’ car, cataclysmic, catastrophic, Challenger (the Space Shuttle that exploded in 1986, killing seven astronauts), chaotic, Cobain, condemns, Corvair-like, crippling, critical, dangerous, deathtrap, debilitating, decapitating, defect, defective, detonate, disemboweling, enfeebling, evil, eviscerated, explode, failed, failure, flawed, genocide, ghastly, grenade-like, grisly, gruesome, Hindenburg, hobbling, horrific, 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 connotations, and you’re toast.

National Enquirer making a move

The supermarket tabloid that has called Florida home for more than four decades is packing its bags. The Boca Raton-based National Enquirer is shifting its headquarters to New York next month under a new editor, who has been given a mandate to broaden the tabloid’s audience and give it some Internet-age flourish.

The Enquirer is returning to its roots. It began as The New York Enquirer in 1926, but first moved to Florida in 1971. It’s spent all but a few years since in Boca Raton.

Watch out, Andrew Cuomo.

Internet security

Password tricks to beef up security

Two stupid password tricks to make your life easier:

•  You know those “security questions” that sites have you set up in case you need to recover your password. What’s your mother’s maiden name? What street did you grow up on? Who was your first-grade teacher?

The flaw is, we’re all Googleable, and those #TBT posts on Facebook and Twitter could give away a lot about your early years. One trick? Lie and keep telling the same lie.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Louis Armstrong.

What was the name of your high school? Louis Armstrong.

In what city did you have your first job? Louis Armstrong.

•  The password dance. Choose a totally random password, let it expire and reset it every time you need to use the site again.


Data breach can’t keep too many shoppers from Target

Many Target customers are ready to forgive and forget.

Following a data breach over the holiday season that affected millions of shoppers, only 7 percent of customers plan to reduce spending at the chain over the next year, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.

Los Angeles Times, The Associated Press, Slate and Bloomberg News contributed.

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