Comment

Nadsat or Newspeak?

(March 19, 2016)

There is something fundamental missing from much of today’s media. It’s called the English language. That’s because the niggardly, sycophantic, hackneyed, concocted argot used to introduce performers and their work continues to plumb new depths. When did it become acceptable for broadcasters and journalists to use the meanest of descriptive powers to describe artists and their music? These so-called commentators allow the rich tapestry of eclectic collage that forms the English language to continue its relentless fall into somnolent doldrums.

It has nothing to do with being ‘cool’ or using the latest ‘street-speak’. It certainly doesn’t employ the dystopian inventiveness of ‘Nadsat’ although it continually fabricates new words that only convey limited meaning. It does not set out to establish the controlling impoverished ‘Newspeak’ but it’s getting close. Perhaps that’s because this ‘easily-absorbed media-language’ is increasingly allied to the confusion of ‘Nadsat’, only known to a select few, or the principle of ‘Newspeak’, which was to remove meaning and create a language with fewer words.

The media is riddled with this indolent approach. Without digging too deeply, reports over the last few days have fostered yet more spurious narratives and patently flawed offerings such as: “The latest sensation to Eurobase from America.” Not good ... inventing meaning by coupling two nouns into a non-existent verb. Then there’s the appallingly ignorant: “Following up their world-smash album with a bijou tour-ette.” Not clever ... attempting to describe a short tour by touching on implications regarding a neuropsychiatric disorder. And finally (or this could go on all day) this meaningless drivel: “If not famous then certainly latter-day Beatlefame is heading their way.” 

Possibly, there’s a little more clarity and a touch of descriptive effort needed to make press releases meaningful and understandable rather than pointless and obscure.

So please, try to invest just a little more thought before you write the script for tomorrow’s show or the next edition. Naturally, it will mean a little more creative thought on your part and you may have to rummage through your (clearly untouched) pristine Thesaurus. Whatever it takes - do it - your audience and readers may not love it but they will have a fighting chance to understand what you are saying.

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