Wednesday, May 2, 2012

English as she is spoke.

"One of the original purposes of this blog was to decry the demise of the English language. I am not one of those esthetes who believe English is sanctified. I understand that the strength, and the reason for the world-wide vitality of English lies in its mutability. It is a living language that accommodates new usages, dictions and patterns.

That said there are certain linguistic affectations that make me want to poke my eyes in. (You can't really poke eyes out, can you? They must be gouged out.) One of them is the usage, "I gifted them with a $100." No. You gave them $100 as a gift.

But that indelicacy is not what's troubling me.

Last night I got an email from a company that read (names have been changed):

"We explore the aspirations of connected culture and the imagination of provocative thinkers whose ideas, visions and innovations will shape tomorrow's business landscape. As co-founders of ________ we have nurtured many relationships with thinkers who are transforming how we will navigate the future.

"We are looking for a business arrangement with a forward thinking group such as _____ led by us who wants to anticipate the coming age of coherent business.

"We are also currently looking to develop this property into a next-generation futures' portal with content and services with real-world engagement platforms."

I read these words four times and don't know how to respond. 

I don't know what you do. 

I don't know what you want. 

I don't even know what you're proposing.


dave trott said...

George, My dad and I once had an argument over the spelling of carburator (he spelled it carburetter). We looked it up in the dictionary and we were both right. My spelling was the American way, which came from Latin. His spelling was the English way, which came from Old French.
Later on I went to New York and found no one spelled programme or colour or humour like either of us did.
As you say George, mutable.

Sean Peake said...

I believe Moe perfected the art of poking one's eye out

Graham Strong said...

"We are looking for a business arrangement with a forward thinking group such as _____ led by us who wants to anticipate the coming age of coherent business."

Perhaps they'd be better served looking for someone who can anticipate their coming verbal spasms with a coherent sentence.

Orwell was wrong. Today's Newspeak isn't a simplification of the language, it is a confoundification of it.


Anonymous said...

You can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit!

Jim Fraser said...


it may be that decent English is the last unfair advantage of creative people. Perhaps you should let the un-creative condemn themselves out of their own mouths? Let's make all such comparisons invidious, and in our favour.


Jim (Scottish-English user)

Jae Sung said...
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