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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cock of the Walk

Or - language is a funny thing.

Sometimes you read a press release, and the language is just so goofy that you are convinced that it must have been cooked up by two native English speaking journalists who got together at a press event, got liquored-up, and made a bet that they could slip a press release to a brand's PR department that bares all of the hallmarks of someone who is trying REALLY hard to be eloquent in a language that is clearly not their own.

Journalist one:
"You've got to be shitting me, nobody would ever say that!"

Journalist two: 
"I wouldn't shit you, you're my favorite turd!"

And speaking of turds, I shit you not, this is the first paragraph of that press release -

Ulysse Nardin celebrates his energetic panache with the “Year of the Rooster” timepiece, the most recent addition to the Classico Collection. Confident and dynamic, the rooster rules the roost with hard work and innate talent.

Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin
Now let's just take that first sentence -

Ulysse Nardin celebrates his energetic panache with the “Year of the Rooster” timepiece, the most recent addition to the Classico Collection.

Now to the best of my knowledge, Ulysse Nardin (the man) is not celebrating anything.  I mean, I could be wrong, but unless the rumors of the zombie apocalypse are true, I doubt it very seriously.  

Which reminds me of a joke:
Question:  If Ulysse Nardin were alive today, what would he be doing?
Answer:  Clawing at the inside of his coffin, trying to get out!

I must confess that I have no idea what the f*ck energetic panache is.  I guess I did not show enough energetic panache in high school.  I was not confident and dynamic, but luckily I did posses a small degree of innate talent...


I suspect that as someone who makes a modest living in the teaching of the English language, I get a little picky about how it gets used.  But all awkward adjectives aside, when the people responsible for writing a press release find using the correct pronoun a challenge, maybe it is time to spend some of your "mad money" on someone who can actually use the language correctly.

Mr. Hoffmann, in the very unlikely event that you are reading this - hire a decent writer!  I know that sales are down, but if you can afford millions in advertising and marketing, I think you can afford thousands to avoid embarrassing, poorly written press releases like this one. 

You know where to reach me.

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