The new owner of and abuses a thesaurus

Rock Holdings, parent company of Quicken Loans, has acquired and The resulting press release is a perfect example of how an idiot uses a thesaurus.

I know this press release was supposed to be funny. Funny is different in a press release. I salute that. And it worked: Google News shows 7,570 articles about this acquisition.

So enjoy the silliness of this release. But when you actually have to use a thesaurus, don’t just pick synonyms. Pick the right words with the right connotations.

Full release below, with my translation:

Detroit-based Rock Holdings Acquires* and**

*If you are unclear as to the meaning of any individual word used in this news release below, we highly encourage you to visit the undisputed leading source for definitions found in the English language;

**If you have an inkling to research if another word from the English language would be more suitable or fitting than a word used below, we highly encourage you to visit the undisputed leading source for synonyms in the English language;

Translation: We bought these two URLs and wrote a press release you can’t understand.

DETROIT, November 15, 2018 – Detroit-based Rock Holdings, Inc., progenitor to considerable FinTech and other online enterprises, inclusive of Quicken Loans – the nation’s largest mortgage lender – today disclosed the acquisition of Oakland, California-based and in accord with their begetter, IAC. These forums are the nation’s preeminent online erudition resource and information concourses, eliciting in excess of 540 million page explorations per approximate lunar cycle.

Translation: Rock Holdings, owner of Quicken Loans, bought and from IAC. These language resources get 540 million page views per month.

“From the genesis, we admit to invariable conjecture in the unmitigated competency of online mechanization to ameliorate the total sum of completed undertakings throughout our mortal existence. Cognition and discourse are conjointly associated,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Holdings. “Whilst the cosmos that encompass us are invariably in flux, an aphorism has perpetually prevailed – the desideratum for efficacious articulation to connote doctrine, conjecture, et al. Comparatively we persevere, maneuvering a terrain glutted with permutation, crystal clear communication will always be the key to success. In addition, over the past two decades, these ‘raw materials’ of language are in essence not only the ‘vessels’ of all communication but at the same time they are also becoming the currency of the digital age.”

Translation: “Good writers are good thinkers,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Holdings, “especially online.”

Established in 1995, and hold notorious for engendering consequential network exchange and assignation as the globe’s copious digital-forward English lexicon and onomasticon, pro rata. Their technological infrastructure has been pivotal in accommodating an agglomeration of recrudescing global patrons with incorrupt entrée to a multiplicity of delineations, equivalencies, phonic syllabifications, precedent sentences, transliterations and the facilitation of orthographic study. Likewise, the gamut burgeons clear of cyberspace, exceeding 110 million digital utility downloads from antiquity to the present day for consumers to promote the analysis of words originating at the interior of the individual’s own metacarpus.

Translation: and help you write better, especially when it comes to spelling and synonyms.

The annexations of and append a prodigious coterie of inestimable content proprietaries to Rock Holdings and its affiliated companies such as Rocket Mortgage,, LowerMyBills, StockX, Cleveland Cavaliers, Robb Report, and Genius, among others.

Translation: We’ve added these URLs to other collection of random crap, including an NBA team in Cleveland that just let the best basketball player in the world go to LA.

“This is an exhilarating juncture for and We endeavor to excogitate amidst a portion of the eminent monikers in industrial science,” said Liz McMillan, CEO of “Rock Holdings is the epicenter of a plethora of headmost enterprises in the commonwealth of cyberspace and we apperceive that considerable capability for additional ontogenesis is situated within the aforementioned alliance. Additionally, this is a prodigious and advantageous ethology that will accouter our platforms amidst the mechanisms to endure about the preeminent perimeter of perspicacity and the junction of consumer praxes.”

Translation: “Rock Holdings gave us money,” said Liz McMillan, CEO of

As a consortium that emulates a For-More-Than-Profit ontology, Rock Holdings and affiliates are fixated on expenditures in steadfast quarterage, scholarship and vocation in its hometown municipalities of Detroit, Cleveland, Phoenix and Charlotte.

Translation: Rock Holdings does good things for people in Detroit, Cleveland, Phoenix, and Charlotte.

The new titleholder of these enterprises, foresees an explosion of innovative and creative functionality, products and integration opportunities that will propel this enterprise into leading a viral era of knowledge expansion and communication skill development across the nation from preschool well into senescence.

Translation: We’ll make the sites better. and retain upwards of 50 contingent partners situated in Oakland, California – with approximately 75% concentrated on product and engineering.

Translation: These sites have 50 employees in Oakland.

The stipulations of the procurement remain unavailable.

Translation: You want to know what we paid? Ha! Good luck with that.


About Rock Holdings Inc.

Rock Holdings Inc. is the parent company of several FinTech businesses. These companies include Quicken Loans, America’s largest mortgage lender, its subsidiary One Reverse Mortgage, and Quicken Loans Mortgage Services (QLMS), a tech-enabled mortgage origination platform and division of Quicken Loans serving community banks and credit unions across the country; Rocket Homes, a digital platform matching clients with high-quality pre-screened real estate agents nationwide; RocketLoans, the fastest online personal loan platform in America; and Rock Connections, a national strategic marketing company specializing in outbound and inbound client service for numerous online, technology and other businesses, among others. Rock Holdings Inc. is headquartered in Detroit, where its companies employ more than 17,000 team members.

Translation: Rock Holdings is a conglomerate with no particular guiding principle. We love synonyms, but not in the sacred boilerplate.


About press releases, dictionaries, and thesauruses . . .

If you’ve gotten this far, here are some nuggets of wisdom for you.

Press releases are boring. No one reads them.

If you make them silly, more people will read them.

That’s only good if they can figure out what the release means. This one spread pretty well, but it didn’t spread any particular meaning. So it’s not really a success.

Looking at what Rock Holdings does (basically, a whole bunch of random stuff), I see no justification for the belief that it will make these sites any better. is not the best thesaurus site, and it has too many annoying autoplay ads. Try is not the best dictionary site. Try, Wordnik, or Wiktionary.

Use a thesaurus to remind you of synonyms with more appropriate connotations or shades of meaning for what you’re trying to say. Don’t use a thesaurus to replace small words with big words, or you’ll sound like a middle schooler (or this press release).

People who say thesauri are trying to sound pretentious. (Octopi, too.)

Read a lot, and broadly. It’s a better way to learn new synonyms than — or this press release.

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    But most of all, twaddle.