Occasional observations on the use (and misuse) of language
Once again (which I say because this happened not so long ago), a list of words deemed to be old-fashioned and moribund has been published.
Good grief, has it really been that long since I wrote a blog post? I should really make amends by writing a lengthy piece of depth and substance, but I'm afraid I only have a few light titbits for you...
Another awards ceremony, another chance to practise my magnanimous smile when someone else wins. (Not that the EDF Energy East of England Media Awards were being broadcast live on TV, but I didn't want to appear a bad loser in front of the other people at my table.)
I knew this day would come, just not so soon...
I guess most copywriters have an ad in their past which still haunts them; an ad which still makes them shudder when they think of it and which (if they're unlucky) is still used by others in the know to beat or blackmail them.
Hello and welcome to the semiannual post on the 'Talking Scribble' blog. (OK, so the posts aren't supposed to be that far apart, but that's the way it seems to be going at the moment.)
Right, now where was I?
Thrift Shop is currently their best-known track in the UK, and the one that brought them to my attention. How can you not love a song which starts with the hilarious swagger of:
And Jimmy Iovine captures perfectly the vacuous flattery of a record company executive:
In any case, I'm currently trying to tackle other language issues with our six-year-old son Harry. Although very articulate, he uses nonsense words in conversation a lot. For example, when asked what he'd like for breakfast, he's as likely to say 'Shred-shred pleeeedd!' as 'Shreddies please'. Asked if he'd like some waffles as well, the answer is as likely to be 'cooty-coo' as 'two'.
I don't know why he's doing this. It may be a silly stage he's going through. He may be experimenting with words and sounds for fun. One reason is certainly that he's discovered that it winds me up and it entertains him to see steam emerge from my ears.
Still, Harry did make my day recently with just one simple two-letter word. Read this to find out what it was.
(Damn, I'm doing it now.)
The weather's been terrible this week. Unfortunately, so has the use of English by one of the BBC weathermen.
Plus, of course, any domain based in the Cook Islands with the suffix '.co.ck'...
Advertising isn't the best environment in which to retain a moral compass, it has to be said. It's very easy to allow yourself to be persuaded to take on assignments you really shouldn't.
For ages, I've been meaning to compile a list of pop songs containing bad grammar. There's no shortage of them, after all - or perhaps I should say there ain't no shortage.
I nearly spat my mouthful of tea over the floor the other evening when I heard the endline of the new Plenty kitchen towels commercial. (If repeated nationwide, this effect could substantially increase the use of Plenty to mop up the mess, so perhaps it's a particularly effective ad.)
Many years ago, I wrote an ad for Epson printers which featured loads of funny misprints from newspapers and magazines. (It's on the 'Positively Prehistoric' page of my advertising work on this site if you want to look for it.)
It's not just about the words you use; it's about where you position them.
I found out when reading the Guardian today that the professional body of doctors who carry out breast enlargement procedures is called the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
It's almost two years now since I was first prescribed reading glasses. I think it may be time for me to go back to the optician's and get my eyes tested again.
...always check your speling.