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.


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.

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bathmate said...

I liked it.

Ian Thorpe said...

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