A Suggestion on Style: Time for Editors to Freshen Up the Adjectives on C Series

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I grew up in Boston, a life-long Red Sox fan. Like every other fan who endured any part of the franchise’s legendary 86-year title drought, my pain was amplified by the gallons of ink journalists spilled explaining why the franchise was “cursed.” But, when the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004, all curse-related conversations were confined to retrospectives… That is to say that when the facts changed, the coverage and commentary rightfully changed. 

Today, we are starting to see the same thing happen with the coverage of Bombardier as we continue to deliver on the commitments of our turnaround plan. Similarly, the better-than-promised performance; the outstanding feedback from airlines, pilots and passengers; and the exciting new partnership with Airbus have led to a noticeable shift in tone about how the C Series program is covered. Mostly.

Unfortunately, some reporters and editors have not kept up with current events. They continue to reuse tired phrases and outdated adjectives when writing about the C Series. Indeed, some people appear incapable of typing the words “C Series” without throwing verbal jabs like beleagueredlanguishing or struggling.   

For those still lapsing into these inappropriate adjectives, I suggest it might be time to update your language. Take a closer look at where the program is today and listen to what the public, airlines and analysts are saying about the C Series’ performance and how the Airbus partnership will accelerate commercial momentum.

There are many examples you can start with. Here’s one from Air Insight, a leading industry publication that expressed enthusiasm for Bombardier’s direction following our decision to partner with Airbus. Citing the supply chain and marketing support advantages the partnership brought us, they revised their C Series sales forecasts upward, noting:

With the partnership with Airbus, we anticipate the C Series market share will increase from around 40% of this market to 55-60% of this market, as the aircraft is simply better than any competing model, and now has the corporate strength behind it to ensure its success. This should result in sales of between 2,750 and 3,360 aircraft, a substantial increase over our prior forecast, with our new expected forecast midpoint of 3,010 aircraft.”

Breaking old habits can be hard, but returning to tired clichés and stale narratives when reporting on the C Series does nothing to enlighten or inform readers. I’m sure audiences would welcome the refreshed language and we would certainly welcome the accuracy. 

Mike Nadolski
Vice President Communications and Public Affairs

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