In 2001 on my first day in a new job I attended an extremely boring, acronym-ridden presentation on a subject called ‘GPRS’. At the end of the ordeal the speaker asked if there were any questions. Being new I put my hand up and said, ‘What does GPRS stand for?’ He didn’t know. Rauccous laughter ensued. My boss turned to me and said, ‘Congratulations – you’ve only been here an hour and you’ve already ruined someone’s life!’
Working for a large company, I spend a large proportion of my day being beaten down by such nonsensical words as ‘mindset’, ‘holistic’, ‘smart’, and equally banal phrases such as ‘singing from the same hymnsheet’ (I’ve probably just quadrupled my hit-rate with that little bad-boy).
As a direct result of the above / attempt to prevent myself crossing over to the dark-side, I’ve taken to crow-barring more interesting words into meetings – words such as ‘tempestuous’, ‘lubugrious’, ‘multifarious’, ‘voluminous’ and ‘rambunctious’. A little of the blame for this practice must also reside with my father who over-uses the word ‘malopropism’ – (an irony considering that it means to be ill-suited or inappropriate).
The point being – language is awesome (the scientific definition of awesome – not the Bill & Ted one). Daryl Hannah once commented that ‘Gargantuan’ is a great word that she so rarely gets to use in conversation. Likewise, in ‘The Devil in Amber’ Mark Gatiss uses the phrase ‘pendulous tackle’ as least twice! Meanwhile I’ve just heard someone say ‘we need to double-head this’ – A phrase that means ‘Get two people to do it’ (either that or I was being offered a part in a porn film). Why didn’t he just say ‘We need to get two people’?
Where am I going with this? A well-deserved rant…deep breath…
Anyway, back in the mundane – the week in brief – stepped on a chisel, seriously burnt my hand retrieving toast from the grill, flooded the bathroom, fell down some stairs – So it is that my quest to publicise a book has been temporarily replaced with the more pressing hope of making it through to the weekend without further injury.
I’ve had some good contact with a number of reading groups in recent days – both in London, (where I work) and the Midlands, (where I’m from) – Sending out review copies where they were asked for and hoping to report back some successes in the next few weeks.
Let’s ‘touch base’ then…ugh!