19 September 2007

Boot up sequence inititated

System coming online.
RAM check... ok.
Level 2 virus definitions loaded.

Enter the location you want to viruscan: Palace of Righteous Justice


It's not been long since my investiture at the Palace and the ticker tape and balloons haven't even been cleaned up. And yet I find that I am already uncomfortable in my new home due to the invasion of the very enemy we seek to destroy. And by destroy I mean comment upon with great and skillful prose and intelligent rhetoric with which to invite discussion among the Internets.

Today I'm going to speak of marketing. Marketing can be clever, and I like clever. This does not mean that I like clever marketing. Nor does it mean that I like marketing of any sort. My point is that I don't like marketing. Specifically, I don't like marketing when it's so blatantly clear that this highly polished visage I see before me is in fact a highly polished company line.

Those of you who know me best (and right now that demographic is limited to RocketBootKid) will understand when I harp on about the correctness of a given statement. This is not limited to just the apparent (or blinding absence of) truth in the message, as I've already suggested, but also in the concise, clear, grammatically and lexicographically accurate language used to convey that message.

As exhibit A, I submit "proactive". As much as I'd like to argue the case for this word infact not being a word, I cannot. The Oxford English Dictionary lists it and it is therefore in common usage. However, it is this very fact that gets my boosters boiling.

Proactive is a marketing term. A term invented by marketing managers (marketeers?) to make them sound somehow more active in a world where being active isn't enough. It isn't sufficient to just actively pursure their next mediocre management goal; they must be seen to be proactively pursuing it.

The reason it gets my boosters boiling then (I may start to use that as a standard actually) is that "pro" (yeah, I am going to get this down and dirty about it) in this context means 'before'. It's a nonsense term to describe how actively they are dealing with a situation they themselves created in the first place!

Binding pro to other words - in essence, trapping it there against its will - does not make you eloquent. It does not provide you with a concise manner of explaining yourself. It does not somehow instill your immediate audience with great confidence in your oratorical prowess.

It makes you sound like a cock.

And I'm somewhat saddened that there appears to be no other adjective I can think of that I feel accurately conveys my thoughts on the matter and on those people who employ it as part of their everday life. But being as concise and truthful as possible is what prevents me from becoming the very thing I am tasked with destroying. And by destroy I mean...

Oh, you get the point.

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