Tuesday, April 10, 2007

We're guilty of this at work quite often. But you the reader, probably knew that.

For Orange, especially.

From Slate :

fighting words: A wartime lexicon.
The You DecadeThere's a new narcissistic pronoun in town.
Christopher Hitchens

I suppose I started to notice it about two or three years ago, when the salespeople at Rite-Aid began wearing dish-sized lapel buttons stating that "YOU are the most important customer I will serve today." It was all wrong, in the same way that a sign hung on a door saying "Back in five minutes" is out of time as soon as it is put in place. It was wrong in other ways, too, since it could be read from some distance (say, from 10 spaces back in a slow-moving line) and thus became an irritant to anyone who could grasp that "they"—or the "we" of this putative "you"—were not really important at all. As in "your call is important to us"—but not important enough for us to supply enough operators to get you out of the holding pattern and the elevator or fasten-your-seat-belt music that comes with it.

The annoying lapel button was soon discontinued, and the bright consultant who came up with it was no doubt promoted to higher things, but "You" retained its centrality. A room-service menu, for example, now almost always offers "your choice" of oatmeal versus cornflakes or fruit juice as opposed to vegetable juice. Well, who else's choice could it be? Except perhaps that of the people who decide that this is the range of what the menu will feature. Fox TV famously and fatuously claims, "We report. You decide." Decide on what? On what Fox reports? Online polls promise to register what "you" think about the pressing issues of the moment, whereas what's being presented is an operation whereby someone says, "Let's give them the idea that they are a part of the decision-making process."


Blogger orange said...

wOrds! wOrds!

fukking pronouns.

10:02 PM  

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