May I have a word about… Adobe’s creative use of language | Jonathan Bouquet
Well, look at what just landed in my inbox – a very kind invitation from Adobe Creative Cloud, no doubt to stimulate my juices. Two of the titbits on offer are: “Create with confidence thanks to Adobe Stock. Leverage themes informed by industry trends, customer signals and our own research to help you connect with your audience”; and “Explore tech-forward solution to help you and your team design at scale and get inspired by industry pros pushing the envelope in digital design with generative AI”. No, I haven’t got a clue either, but I think that my envelope-pushing days are long behind me and feel that I must graciously decline the kind offer to take part.
We have now been afflicted by Covid for nearly three years and yet some lessons still have not been learned. Take these two front-page headlines from last week: “Let’s not return to face mask ‘madness’” (Daily Mail); and “Return of the face mask? New guidance possible if NHS deteriorates” (the i). The madness lies in preceding mask with face. Where else would you wear the bloody things? It reminds me of a former colleague whose pet hate was “head-butt”. “You don’t say fist-punch or foot-kick, so why say head-butt.” Just so.
Reader Francis Harvey also has a grouse: “Regarding annoying phrases, one that seems to be gaining currency is ‘swap out’ to mean ‘swap’. The ‘out’ seems superfluous. Sadly, this wording is used in official publicity for Royal Mail’s scheme to exchange old postage stamps for barcoded ones.”
Meanwhile, one of the contestants in the new series of The Apprentice is Marnie Swindells, a former boxer. I hope it’s not a case of nominative determinism. I shall be watching her progress with interest.
Finally, this week’s prize for masterly concision in the use of the English language goes to Tory MP Tim Loughton reacting to Prince Harry’s latest whinge. Loughton was reported as saying: “Just shut the fuck up.” And so say all of us.