Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Corporate Speak

Corporate Speak. That misuse of the English language meant to convey that the corporation in question is really a caring sharing organisation. That its sole goal is its customers and perfect attention to their needs. Copywriters earn vast amounts ensuring the language has just the right emotional tone.

I heard a stonker this morning. “Please Note, ticket barriers have been installed at this station to assist you in your entry and exit. For your convenience please ensure you have your ticket ready.”

For those unfamiliar with the British train system, ticket barriers are these machines of the devil that one must stick one’s ticket into before they shudder open to let you through and return your ticket (hopefully). They are not efficient, and they do not assist me in entering and exiting the station. They are there to ensure the train company that no one without a ticket gets in or out.

Frankly, they are a bloody pain in the ass. Inevitably I have to fumble in my pocket to get my ruddy ticket out of its little folder. Equally inevitable, someone in front of me will have got into the barrier without getting their ticket out, or having the wrong ticket, or or or.

For some reason the train company thinks its necessary to tell us that it would be better if we got our tickets out before the ticket barriers. Or better yet to make sure we’ve got a ticket. This is, frankly, self evident. It does not need explanation. It does not need some trumped up misuse of the English language to convince me that its really for my own good. Why can’t they just leave the air unfilled with this extra noise?


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