Feb. 9th, 2009

childeric: (Default)
Oh god, there are times when you're going into work and you see something that turns you from the fairly laid-back chilled sunny sort of individual you broadly aspire to be into a foaming frothing torrent of rage and hatred and spleen venting that wants to fire off severely-worded letters to the BBC (John Humphreys in particular, as he'd understand), Private Eye, the Prime Minister and heaven knows who else. There are, of course, many things that might trigger this response, but in my case this morning it is the van of a company that describes itself as offering 'foodservice solutions'. 'Solutions' on its own is quite bad enough and horribly over-used, but what new horror is 'foodservice'? The poor old English language has suffered some horrible indignities in its time, but 'foodservice solutions' makes me want to set up a sort of English equivalent of the Académie Française. This one, though, would have real teeth: heavily-armed teams equipped with copies of Fowler and the OED and perhaps also a portable scaffold would roam the streets hunting down and wiping away such solecisms: 'Sorry, sir, you knew the penalty, but you have a notice here advertising "apple's". Unless you can show pretty hastily that you are a vendor of products that belong to an apple or an individual named Apple, then justice must have her due.'

Even through the red mist, however, all my rational being is saying annoying, sensible, things like 'You're just being a linguistic conservative. A healthy language isn't preserved in aspic but embraces the new. English is a more enthralling mistress for her many and lusty couplings with all who will have her, not to mention the new and exotic excitements her lively and productive imagination has dreamt up, than ever she would be as some pure and unsullied spinster, shrivelled up in her lofty (and lonely) hauteur (oops, that's French, but that rather illustrates the point, doesn't it?).' Then, my irksome rational being continues, 'And isn't it rather shameful that of all the things in the world that there are to get worked up about, the one that really brings you out in a tearing passion is some idiot caterer riding a neologistic bandwagon?'

My rational being is, of course, looking for a good solid punch in the face, mostly because he (I assume, for no especially good reason, that my rational being is a he) is quite correct.

But oh god, still, 'foodservice solutions': you want a shotgun handy.


childeric: (Default)

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