Sunday, 22 March 2009

Predictors of Beaconicity

Humour is a funny thing.  Missmarketcrash is amused by the conversation about the "words banned by the LGA" post. Where on earth has everyone's sense of humour gone?  Missmc found the list utterly hilarious.  She also finds the phrase "humour is a funny thing" really really funny.  Especially with the British spelling.

How do some words slip into being a cliche?  And what is a cliche?  Flaubert, in his "Dictionary of Received Ideas" had fun with this notion.  "In its essence", "at a certain point", a word is rendered fairly meaningless and reduced to a puff mushroom.  There it is, and then, pop -- there is nothing left of it.  We "carry on" reading or talking without analysis or thought.  Carry on.  Have you ever stopped to visualize that?  Or dissect it in context?

Many readers demanded a link of proof that there was such a list.  The point was the absurdity of some poor bureaucrat compiling such a list with earnestness, and getting carried away with his listmaking to the extent that ordinary words such as "Welcome" creeped in.  Other words were only a cliche in the world of the bureaucrat and incomprehensible to the public.  Fair enough, but, still funny.  Who would not pause and giggle at a phrase such as "Predictors of Beaconicity"?  The pedantic nature of issuing such guidance reflected back on the notion of bureaucracy itself.  And, that, in itself, is - and here comes the cliche - LOL.

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