Mar 06

When is accreditation meaningless?

by in Linguistics

One of the things that annoys me with marketing is the abuse of language.

In some instances, however, I can understand why they have done it.

If you take a word that is normally associated with a particular type of situation and conditions and juxtapose it "correctly", you can achieve a very subtle goal - value where there is none.

The usage of the word "accreditation" is a good example. You can find a number of definitions of the word, however the meanings will all overlap to some degree:


accreditation is a process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented

So there is always an underlying current of competency which has been proven to some degree.

In the realm of online business a lot of companies lack competency and those that may be competent would have difficulty proving it through objective means.

You can't become "certified" or "accredited" in the same way that an accountant can pass certain exams or a solicitor / barrister / lawyer can.

You might be able to show yourself to be a "good citizen" by the company you keep, so joining some industry groups or getting your name associated with certain things can lend a certain "weight" to your presence.

However, when it comes to "accreditation" the lines really need to be drawn.

You can be an accredited registrar (be that with ICANN, Eurid, Nominet or one of the other registries).

Paying a membership to join RIPE or INEX does not give you accreditation.

Trying to put a spin on your membership is pointless and won't fool anyone.

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4 Responses to “When is accreditation meaningless?”

  1. From David Behan:

    You’ve obviously see someone doing this! Care to share?

    Posted on March 6, 2008 at 9:14 am #
  2. From irishstu.myopenid.com:

    One thing that annoys me are blog posts that seem to be very general but are obviously targetted at an (unnamed) person or company!

    Posted on March 6, 2008 at 9:34 am #
  3. From Stephen McCarron:

    C’mon Michele – don’t drive us all insane !

    Posted on March 6, 2008 at 3:04 pm #
  4. From Niall:

    Try working for him! :)

    Posted on March 6, 2008 at 5:00 pm #

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