Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sometimes words do matter.

Watch a committee try to ascertain whether the word "innovative" should be replaced by "breakthrough" and advertising can seem pretty damn self-involved. All the inane wordsmithing makes one start to wonder if any piece of language matters anymore.

So it was nice to be reminded, while in a pub in the land of the Queen's English, that the right words can really make a difference – innovative and breakthrough excluded.

You see, after a few pints of English ale, I didn't excuse myself to go to the Men's Room or The Restroom or The John. I went to The Gents.

And The Gents, it seemed to me, introduced some sense of decorum. Aim precisely, wash up thoroughly and be brisk about the whole thing. Be a gent – not a guy using The John.

A small victory for craft.


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