My Word! (And Everyone Elses as Well)

April 13, 2009

I. Have. Found it.

http://verboscious.wordpress.com/2009/04/05/tweet-all-about-it/

A post about a man posting about his talk about someone else’s program for easy posting.

The man’s posts themselves can be found here: http://twitter.com/stephenathome

Mankind knows too much.

A little back-story on this term I’m about to assault on behalf of its dizzying omnipresence: the “Information Age” term was coined in the 60’s in an AT&T ad campaign. The very fact that an advertisement told us of this “Age” should hold a hint of irony itself. It’s not the most official definition, but it’s also where we got the terms Kleenex, Jacuzzi and Google.

I had no idea we were surrounded by so much information. Look around the room you’re in and count the words and symbols. Heck, count the number of languages represented in the room (spelling ‘Ramen’ in Western alphabet on a bowl doesn’t count as Japanese). From this vantage point, I see every option on this page; zoomed out from that, the symbols on the buttons on the monitor I never dare to press, next to the brand name; every strange Windows keyboard buttons like “Print Screen / SysRq” that seem too verbose to be a single key; the production and contact information inscribed on a Fellowes paper-holder of some kind; the Recycling triangle and Warning label in English and Japanese (or Mandarin) repeated across a bag for a strange computer part; the symbols on every scanner and headphone in the room, brand and buttons and all; and even past that, the posters on the walls.

WHY on Earth would anyone want to add more words? Those folks and their “internet” must be pretty self-important to justify it.

Chew on this yourself for a moment. Anyone can say something in text someplace or another. Internet domains are free, as are e-mail addresses and social utilities and blogs, and even paper isn’t hard to come by. Most of what you say (repeat, most, as 361st Degree is not held accountable for any actions inspired by that sense of freedom brought about by this post) will be protected by the First Amendment, no matter how repetitive, revolting or revolutionary your statements are. That applies to you. It’s quite a bit of potency for one person, or would be if there weren’t hundreds of millions of people expressing said views, online and in English just to narrow it down.

But the bulk of what I’m referring to, unfortunately, isn’t done by the verbose individual. It’s done by the psychologists behind marketing .

Humor is a potent weapon, even when entirely unrelated to the company. A caveman sees a Geico advertisement and gets angry. Classic! Geico must be easy. (Never mind that it is.)

A vaguely-defined advantage is another: the difference of Budweiser is Drinkability. Like having a car be an American Revolution or more-or-less like a Rock, in some undefinable way that makes it set apart from other products.

All so that you remember a single marketing preference.

This post, precisely HERE, has added 500 words in the bucket. Since this post exists to proclaim that there are too many words, here I must stop.

But one more tidbit: a link to an article on the omnipresence of advertising, written in 1904.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/190401/scott

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