Thursday, March 21, 2024

101 and Done.

This will be short today.

Or brief.


Too many people in our business, writers, account people, clients, MBAs, marketing directors and their spouses, influencers, focus-groupers and gropers, non-native English-speakers who therefore become experts on English usage, people with graduate degrees in English and Comparative literature from Ivy League universities like myself, treat the English language as if it were engraved in marble and as immovable as a client with a giant budget and a dearth of taste.

Too many people, including so-called creatives, who are often more rigid than a horse-fly wrapped in spider-silk, don't understand that the English language--any language worth it's salt for that matter--is supposed to be fun.

It's supposed to help us understand and communicate. So all the tools that humans have at our disposal (humans, not algorithms) have evolved over the last 4.5 million years since our erection, to make us funny, and memorable and different. 

Everything, for instance, Jack Gilford in the clip above can do with his face, we are allowed to do with words. We must do with words: with their manglement, with their juxtaposition, with their sound, their sibilance, their Slip Mahoney-isms, their music, their dissonance.  

This isn't about, of course, just making words up willy-nilly. It's about finding ways to express ourselves and our thoughts that breakthrough, become memorable, and are even talked about and shared.

This is about a line like "nothing is impossible" sucking and "impossible is nothing" being brilliant. It's about upside-downing a world that forever thrusts its tightened sphincter in your face.

Or, if Zero Mostel can turn into a rhinoceros, we are allowed to be preposterous.

Or, if Annie Ross, the most verbal singer since Maria Callas, can steal the scene by ooooping, why can't we?

One more. Two words: Babs Gonzales.

Or one more one more. If a hundred-year-old movie can teach us to "free the camera" why do we abjure anything but the "latest"?

OK. I lied. One more one more one more. This one from god herself. A Yonkers gal.

This entire exegesis on language was spurred by one word from the Tweet above from that stuffiest of newspapers, the cheery, neo-fascist Wall Street Journal.

When was the last time you were as playful verbally as the word "Upsetologist."

99.79-percent of all writers, human or artificial, would have blathered on slinging jargon like corned-beef-hash at a lumberjacks' breakfast. They'd write something like: "we utilize people-centric, data-driven predictive analytics to calculate the asymptote likelihood of defeat and/or non-defeat, to wit, victory in the funnel."

Fuk-a-duk, as my first art-director, Angus McClennan used to bourbon. Fuk-a-duk, indeed.

We don't like people without imagination, humor and nuttiness. Why do we do ads without them?

Scat, cat.

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