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Irritable Vowel Syndrome

A particularly modern brand menace

Irritable Vowel Syndrome

A particularly modern brand menace


So Flickr’s new slogan is ‘Biggr, spectaculr, wherevr’ – as spine-tinglying, bile-inducing, grimace-worthy a strapline as you’re ever likely to find. What’s with the decision that ‘e’ is a vowel semi-surplus to requirements? Are vowels just not cool enough for cutting edge brands any longer – aside from the ubiquitous ‘i’ which gets prefixed onto anything vaguely digital or electronic (I blame Apple entirely)?

For goodness sake, when did ‘spelling’ become such an arbitrary decision for brands to take – is nothing sacred? Also, aside from the missing ‘e’, did no-one notice that these three words don’t actually read properly together – one is an adverb, the other two adjectives? The combination simply doesn’t make any sense without clauses or conjunctions.

I’m fighting a losing battle about text-speak, I’ll admit that – language always changes and adapts to new media and culture, so however much I dislike ‘LOL’, ‘ROFL’ and ‘LMAO’ et al., I’ve accepted these are legitimate additions to the English lexicon. They have a base, and they have a purpose, provided you don’t say them out loud as words in themselves… then we’re on dodgy ground.

But I’m fed up with brands removing letters for the sake of a strapline which came up after every other (crap) concept in the brainstorm was given up on; it’s a crass, lazy way to create an identity, and I don’t think it shows a great degree of respect to your customers either.

Maybe I’m a grumpy old man – okay, I’m a grumpy old man – but continual bastardisation of our great language is not something to be celebrated, nor encouraged. Just once, it’d be nice for someone making the strapline decisions to say, “you know what, can we just spell correctly?”.

For those brand gurus at Flickr, here’s an edited version of the above that roughly aligns with your chosen alphabet. Read it and then apologise. Profusely.

So Flickr’s new slogan is ‘Biggr, spectaculr, wherevr’ – as spine-tinglying, bil-inducing, grimac-worthy a straplin as you’r evr likely to find. What’s with the dcision that ‘e’ is a vowl semi-surplus to rquiremnts? Are vowls just not cool enough for cutting edg brands any longr – aside from the ubiquitous ‘i’ which gets prfixd onto anything vaguly digital or elctronic (I blam Apple entirly)?

For goodnss sake, when did ‘splling’ become such an arbitrary decision for brands to tak – is nothing sacrd? Also, aside from the missing ‘e’, did no-one notic that thse thr words don’t actually rad proprly togethr – one is an advrb, the other two adjctives? The combination simply dosn’t make any snse without clauses or conjunctions.

I’m fighting a losing battle about text-spak, I’ll admit that – languag always changs and adapts to new mdia and culture, so howevr much I dislik ‘LOL’, ‘ROFL’ and ‘LMAO’ et al., I’ve acceptd thse are legitimat additions to the English lxicon. They have a base, and thy have a purpose, providd you don’t say them out loud as words in themslves… thn we’re on dodgy ground.

But I’m fd up of brands removing lettrs for the sake of a straplin which came up after evry othr (crap) concpt in the brainstorm was givn up on; it’s a crass, lazy way to crate an idntity, and I don’t think it shows a great dgree of respect to your customrs eithr.

Maybe I’m a grumpy old man – okay, I’m a grumpy old man – but continual bastardisation of our grat language is not somthing to be clebratd, nor encouragd. Just once, it’d be nice for somone making the strapline dcisions to say, “you know what, can we just spll corrctly?”.