Archive for May, 2011

Over use leads to under value.

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

There are many words and common phrases that have become so over used that they have ultimately lost any real meaning.

In an attempt to try and communicate, in a simplistic way, politicians, the public service and big business have coined a plethora of glib expressions. These are tirelessly repeated in an attempt to get the point across.



Team player

Then there’s Julia Gillard’s ‘Moving forward’


Tony Abbott’s ‘Great big new tax’ that has now become ‘Toxic tax’

These originally had meaning and were valuable verbal shorthand that simply expressed a more complex thought.

But that meaning has been lost by over use.

The same has happened in advertising.

If you read ad headlines or even get as far as the body copy you will find a lot of sameness.

Many copywriters are slavishly using well-worn expressions to sell an idea, rather than look for a more original and memorable set of words.

I spied an ad for a mobile phone the other day that proudly boasted the headline: ‘Prepare to be awesome’

Since when has a phone made the user awesome?

The Great Wall of China, The Barrier Reef even Attila the Hun, all inspire awe, not a mobile phone.

In 1875 Alexander Graham Bell might have inspired awe with the invention of the first telephone, but not today.

Retail advertising is the worst offender.

They are using and re-using hackneyed phrases that once, way back then, might have convinced the consumer that they were getting a bargain.

Now their luster has worn off.

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Never to be repeated

Red-hot bargain

Closing Down Sale

Mammoth savings

Peace of mind

Get the edge

What’s stopping you?

The last one is probably the most telling as I think it’s the clichés themselves that may be the biggest hindrance to sales.

They are just a wallpaper of words that the punter sees, but doesn’t read, let alone respond to.

They have been made impotent by over and inappropriate use.

Jesus might save you but God writes
great headlines.

Friday, May 20th, 2011

I have just received an email from my mate in Switzerland.

It’s one of those emails that you are meant to send on and brighten up someone’s day.

Well it not only brightened up my day, it made it.

Within it were a number of photos of church notice boards.

They usually give out the service times and a simple rallying message about praising the Lord and Jesus saving us all.

These ones go way beyond the expected and have taken notice board headlines to new heights.

Praise the Lord.

Staying in bed shouting, “Oh God” doesn’t constitute going to church.

St Cyril of Alexandria Catholic Church

God does not believe in atheists therefore atheists do not exist.

Palm heights Baptist Church

Forgive your enemies it messes with their heads.

Donelson View Baptist Church

Free coffee, everlasting life, yes membership has its privileges.

Goodwood United Church

Read the bible, it will scare the hell out of you.

Wyldwood Baptist Church

Walmart is not the only saving place.

Oak Grove Landmark Missionary Baptist Church

Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

Neighborhood Christian Centre

There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google.

Claude Presbyterian Church


Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

I have just wasted a few hours of my life watching the final of Eurovision.

Everything seemed familiar.

The songs, wardrobe, look and even the dance moves, I felt as though I had heard them all before.

The Greek artist had a fusion of traditional Greek music with rap. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

The French guy had a great voice but not much more.

The Italians had a jazz theme, funnily I think I have heard it all before.

Next, the UK’s ‘Blue’ – Man Power on speed. I thought that Eurovision was about music, not muscles.

Lena, the defending winner from Germany, certainly had a great sound, but she was so last year.

At this point I am thinking, this is the Eurovision Song Contest, shouldn’t it be about the song?

Half the acts are about the stage show not the lyrics or the delivery.

Austria, so Céline Dion, so 1988.

Iceland was the sentimental favorites with a great song but a familiar sound.

The Ukraine used a sand artist. A great visual effect, that didn’t add to the originality of the music.

Serbia was a bit like Dianna Ross and the Supremes, only in Serbian.

Even the Eurovision show lacked substance. It was like a lot of current TV commercials – all technique with no real creative idea.

The only act that stood out for me was Moldova and their song ‘So Lucky’ with the fairy on the unicycle.

I could imagine them on Triple J.

It was a bit like watching 2 hours of TV commercials. Very few acts stood out or were memorable.

It was all wallpaper.

What is the criteria for Eurovision? If it’s originality then most acts have failed.

And the winner is – Azerbaijan with ‘Running Scared’

I somehow don’t think they have the staying power or originality of Sandy Shaw (1967) ABBA (1974) or even Céline Dion (1988).

A quick fix or more things that piss me off.

Friday, May 13th, 2011

The RACV (Royal Automobile Club of Victoria) has pleaded with the state government to adopt a road transport infrastructure programme and stop implementing quick fixes – like reducing speed limits rather than improving the roads.

I have discovered a quick fix in packaging.

More and more screw top jars are becoming impossible to open.

I don’t think that the average home cook could get the top off most jars these days, even if they do spend eight hours in the gym each week, pumping iron.

The only reason I can see for this is to improve security, by making the product more tamper proof.

They may have saved a few dollars, by not putting a security seal on their jar, but they will have pissed off a lot of customers who can’t actually open them.

Is it good business to save money and then lose customers?