Friday, December 18, 2009

Playing games with language

In the days where I was reluctantly forced into interminable business meetings, myself and some co-conspirators would try to reduce the tedium by playing little games. One such game was called "bullsh*t bingo". We would compile a list of meaningless business phrases and tick them off as they came up. "no brainer", "low-hanging fruit", "proactive", "treeing"- all would find their place in our little game.

Recently, however, I notice the spread of drivel a long way from the narrow world of business. It is not just the Dragon's Den TV show that has popularised corporate dull-speak, but across television a whole new language seems to be emerging which has very little to do with the way that people actually speak- or even think. For some reason, shampoo seems to be responsible for particularly banal phrases: "radiant shine", "dazzling" and- a particular bug-bear of mine- "fragrance".

Newspapers too- especially the tabloids- seem to have their own language too: "romp" is always a winner, along with "charms", and "manhood"- all strictly physical assets.

Now I find myself in front of the television playing the odd round of "bullsh*t bingo"- and strangely, it seems to be becoming easier and easier.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

looks like lot of people play games with language. It mostly done in website designing because we have to deal with SEO rankings.

Karl,
Website Design (http://www.inowweb.com)

bathmate said...

I liked it.
Bathmate

Ian Thorpe said...

It's all down to "business process re-engineering" I guess.