John Humphreys explains why we need to reclaim language:
The supermarkets are masters of the art – always trying to persuade us how thrilling it will be if we share our shopping experience with them. Note “experience”. We don’t shop any longer. We have an “experience”.
At the heart of this hype process, in which the “experience” is all, individual words are given an even sharper 180 degree change of direction. Take “enjoy”. You’re sitting in a restaurant, the waitress brings your meal and, with a sweet smile, says, “Enjoy!” I want to say: “Don’t you know that ‘enjoy’ is a transitive not an intransitive verb? You should say, ‘Enjoy it!’ not ‘Enjoy!’.”
Amen. Out there, a small but hardy band of stalwarts do care, for instance about why the New Yorker would refer to a “six-liter bottle of Bordeaux” when it might have used the term “Imperial of Bordeaux” instead. (Personally speaking, the Babu likes his wine in Jeroboams, if not Nebuchadnezzars, but an Imperial will do in a pinch.)
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