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26 Aug 2004

Unpalatable verbizations

Posted by Just a little unwell in General | 9:38am

"Do you tennis?" asked the painted wall advertisement, and I shifted uncomfortably. Not because I 'did not tennis', but because such an onslaught on the language was too much to handle at the end of a tiring work-day. It did not appear to come from an ignorant / illiterate source, in which case, it would have deserved all my sympathy. It appeared more like a half-baked attempt at creative sloganeering - and hence sucked big time.

By the way, let's give full marks to the Indian intelligence for doing a copy-cat job of the more widespread "Do you Yahoo?" line. In the original case, I can hazard a guess on the motivation for coming up with such a blasphemy. Google was becoming more popular and people even verbized it with all that talk about 'googling' their searches, similar to how 'xeroxing' became the norm. Alarmed by this development, Yahoo must have urgently wanted to insert its name into the English vocabulary and must have hoped that people will start 'Yahoo'-ing their mails and 'Yahoo' with their online buddies, after getting badgered with the "Do you Yahoo" line. Though that was not to be, at least the motive is understandable. Coming to our local version, I'm clueless as to what the advertizer hoped to achieve by verbizing 'tennis' (reduce his advertising expenses? 'Play' sounds such a tyrannically long word, taking up unwanted space and time - to paint, to read, to comprehend......... Best option - knock it off).

I shudder to think of the outcome of such attacks on the language. The advertiser, knowingly or otherwise, has spawned a generation of youngsters who will 'banner' their creative lines, 'computer' them, 'web' them, 'book' them and what not. And even before we realize, our lives may look like this: get up in the morning, 'Hindu' / 'DC' / 'NDTV' for a while, 'Kellogg' and 'Nescafe' to see us through till lunch time (while simultaneously 'Pink Floyd'ing / 'Slayer'ing), 'Yamaha' / 'Honda' our way to the office, 'Johnson' upto the right floor, IBM / HP thru' the working hours, 'Pizza Hut' / 'Subway' in between, 'Barista' for some time in the evening with friends, 'Lifestyle' a bit, 'Visa' our purchases............damn. Can we put a full stop to this kind of creativity before the world becomes an Alzheimer's paradise?

Current Mood: Worried
Current Music: -

13 Comments | "Unpalatable verbizations" »

  1. By Andhroid

    26 Aug 2004, 10:38am [ Reply ]

    Wow JLU, the 'Visa your purchase' is a cool caption.
    I think you should sell this idea to Visa!

  2. By Lily

    26 Aug 2004, 3:06pm [ Reply ]

    good one, if you are so keen on language you should read the book called "Eats, shoots & leaves" by Lynne Truss. I think you might get a kick out of it :D

  3. By rainmaker

    26 Aug 2004, 5:16pm [ Reply ]

    i agree with andhra android.. you can sell these ideas to companies. of course, by doing that your worst fears will come true ('creative' sloganeering will be everywhere), but i'm sure u wont complain while Citibanking the moolah u earn.

  4. By JLU

    26 Aug 2004, 11:42pm [ Reply ]

    Andhroid (nice name), I think i'll let go of the opportunity :) And let's hope Visa doesn't get such ideas on its own too :)

    Lily, I've heard about that book and it sounds like a worthy read, thx :) I'm not as keen on language as I am on sanity. I object only when things get insane :)

    Rainmaker, absolutely right about my worst fears coming true :) That's the reason I've graciously declined Andhroid's offer ;)

  5. By meggie

    28 Aug 2004, 3:42pm [ Reply ]

    LOL :))) atlast some blog from you i can relate to..........well written :)

  6. By dudette

    28 Aug 2004, 3:58pm [ Reply ]

    your post pretty much sums up most of our day-to-day verbs ... just that you forgot 'odyssey'ing :)

  7. By JLU

    30 Aug 2004, 10:16am [ Reply ]

    Thx Meg..... finally we are able to relate ;)

    Dudette, r u the one who cheers up at the thought of 'odyssey'ing? :) I could very well make out from the ML smile :D

  8. By Frigidmidget

    30 Aug 2004, 5:43pm [ Reply ]

    Damn! you've given me too much to worry about :(

  9. By Loup

    9 Sep 2004, 2:42pm [ Reply ]

    that poster has always given me the jitters everytime i see it. Worse was a sign i saw outside a school 'English Bed Teachers wanted'.. Peace

  10. By meggie

    12 Sep 2004, 8:40pm [ Reply ]

    no new post ? :(

  11. By meggie

    12 Sep 2004, 8:40pm [ Reply ]

    no new post ? :(

  12. By IdeaSmith

    31 Oct 2004, 3:40pm [ Reply ]

    Hmm...its called evolution...not always nice though

  13. By Wool

    9 Jan 2005, 2:32pm [ Reply ]

    Agree with idea smith..ahem ahem. Language is dynamic, it changes get used to it..thats what Derrida said too. Do you flinch when u 'Xerox' a document or 'google' a query ?!

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