Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wierd Wednesday- murderous marketing

The American way of life has killed the English language. If their is any disagreement, please see the above photo.

Yeah, that's what I thought. To explain further, can we all agree that "legendary" is definitely one the words that should NEVER describe a cheeseburger sub? Especially such a skanky one...? "Inedible" seems far better to me.

So why do they use this word? When truthfulness and accuracy are replaced by the plain and simple motive of peddling more of the same "cheaper and crappier than yesterday" product, there is no limit to the adjectives you can use. If it helps sell, then it is a proper description.

The questions that come to my mind are:

Can we really have any idea what a word really means when it describes both the above photo, and some of the amazing feats performed by heroes in WW2? Eyeshadow and a sunset? Sneakers and Mt. Everest?

A football player and Almighty God?

Don't we get much of our practical definition of words from everyday contextual usage? So how can we find our balance with "real" definitions to anchor our words when the practical usage has become so broad?

Oh, and the real big one...

can we do anything about it?

** Don't ask me how I got to the cheeseburger sub, but a special thanks goes out to my good buddy and fellow toast lover Mr. Smith, whose ponderings on book-buying led me to a small rant on the evils of dustjackets, which led to the evils of marketing in general. Who knows where we will be led next? I for one, am glad that I do not know...

Now off I go to comment on Sam's latest post, where I identified with the term "reflexive beast".

1 comment:

samuel said...

"Inedible" and "cheaper and crappier than yesterday" were my favorite parts.

It's an excellent post and question, and one that hits me in two places:
1)the mental area (take than any way you want)
2)the funny bone

Words lose out in much of advertising and youth/hip culture. We see this with hip youth groups and church growth marketing crap too. Example: Kidz Nitez! Come to our kidz groupz, we think we're cool (and we're not) and we intentionally misspell wordz to prove it! I was going to post on this, but prob never will.
Jack Lewis, your namesake, described the loss of language in the word "Gentleman." It used to mean a landed man with a coat of arms. Now it means a lot more, and thus a lot less. I used it in a post yesterday in a way that takes in it's modern meaning, and not it's older, truer, meaning. It's too bad, it's gone. Lewis points out that we already had words like "kind" and "considerate" and "chivalrous" and we didn't need to mess with Gentleman. But we did. Sadder still is that now we have "Gentleman's Clubs" that are the antithesis of the word. Now Gentleman must mean also that we love to subject women as beings solely intended for men's temporary pleasure with no other thought of her value before God and man. Sick.

Anyway, all that to say : Amen. "Legendary?" Yeah, the Boys of Pont du Hoc, that's legendary. Not a heart-attack for 4$. Well-said.

Per your "reflexive beast" self-identification...

I've always thought of you more as a "sexy beast."

Now let the historians, coupled with the fact that we used to live together, make something of this!