By the way, do let me know if I sound like some twit from the Daily Mail. Actually, I might start prefacing all of my sentences like that.
It all started many years ago, when I first moved to Norwich. One of the things that really irritated me was the advert for a garage in the local paper. It had the logo, all the cars underneath, and what I believe is called a strapline at the bottom of the page, that said “Cars Are People”. And every time I saw it, I wanted to scream. Not because it was ‘not good use of the English language” (see point about DM above), but because it was just so…patronising. What I thought (and have continued to think when confronted with this sort of slogan) is that the people that put such nonsense in front of us are trying to prove that new use of the language is groundbreaking, just because it’s nonsense.
You might remember in the 90’s that there was briefly a fashion for sweatshirts that had faux slogans on – these in my experience were often worn by Japanese tourists in order to look more like Americans. They’d have words like ‘Authentic’, ‘Original’, ‘Denimware’, ‘State’ , and so on, but because they were arranged in a fairly random order, they were, well, just words. As that particularly annoying member of the Von Trapp family once put it…’But It Doesn’t Mean Anything’. So I spent a fair amount of time being annoyed about that.
Which brings us to 2009, and the Adidas campaign that says ‘Impossible Is Nothing’. Well, that’s wrong really, isn’t it. I don’t even know what the clever people are trying to say any more.