Words, Phrases & Other Stuff I Hope Get Put Into a Time Capsule

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka the PRDude)

Lots of web sites and blogs, including many in the public relations arena, publish posts that offer advice by the numbers:  “Ten PR Myths Your Mother Never Told You” or “167 Reasons Why Reporters Hate Public Relations and the People Who Work in the Industry.”

This post falls into that category, but I’m not going to take the easy route and quantify it.  Everyone does that.  Besides, it’s my intention to get you kind readers and supporters of The PRDude to share your thoughts.

Here — in no particular order — are a “couple of things” from life in this great decade and probably beyond that I wholeheartedly hope go the way of the hula hoop, the Edsel and perhaps disco.

  • A “Gazillion” Dollars.  You’ve read this word in articles pertaining to the federal deficit and future earnings for the next tech wizard.  Why is it used? We have perfectly good words that denote lots of money, like “billions” and “trillions.” What idiot came up with this word?  Probably the same guy who popularized the phrase in the next bullet.
  • “It’s Not Uncommon…”  This one doesn’t need much elaboration: If it’s “not uncommon” then it’s “common!” Stop the use of this double negative!  My college English 101 instructor, Professor Brosnahan would back me on this. I’m an English major, you know.
  • “Freebird!”  It’s always late in the third set.  A cover band just wants to play a few more songs they didn’t write and get the hell off the stage.  Then, some guy — it’s always a guy — yells, “Freebird!” Do you really want to hear a tired cover band try to make sense of a 9-minute song with a 5-minute guitar solo played by three different guys? Leave the guys in Lynyrd Skynyrd in peace.  Recommend something else, like a nice number by the Captain and Tennile.
  • “Da Bears” Gotta Go.  As a proud son of the great City of Chicago, I, too laughed at the “Saturday Night Live” routines featuring George Wendt (also a real Chicago guy) and other Chicago Bears super fans.  Let me set the record straight: It aint’ funny anymore. Ditka owns a restaruant and — not kidding — hawks his own brand of wine.   Yous guys should know dis: We don’t all talk like dat here, in Chicaga.
  • Whiny, Sing-Songy Female Voice Over Actors.  Some retailers and manufacturers seek celebrities to handle voice over duties for TV and radio commercials. Others opt for an actor with a distinguished or memorable voice.  And, still others hire women who must be in their 40s but sound like they’re still a few months short of qualifying for a driver’s permit.  You’ve heard them: An affectation much akin to the famous Valley Girl that reportedly hung out at some regional mall in or around Reseda.

I could go on and bash the hacks who claim to be “public relations professionals” but don’t do much more than blow up balloons at the “publicity stunts” they orchestrate.  But, I’ll save that subject for another post.

What would you like to put into a time capsule?  Share your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “Words, Phrases & Other Stuff I Hope Get Put Into a Time Capsule

  1. Ed, two thoughts come to mind:

    Gazillion – When I worked on the Golin-Harris/McDonald’s PR team in the 1980s, I ginned up a program called “The Gazillionth French Fry,” a bit of a self-deprecating let’s-have-fun schtunt (schtick-stunt). The marketing manager told to come up with a Fr. fry promotion loved it, but the conservative suits above him did not. Opportunity lost.

    Actor voice overs – The cheapest tactic to imply “class” is to use a British-accented voice. I’ll take a Valley Girl voice anytime over that South London tramp a local limo service used a few years ago to sell their tacky gas-guzzlers to people who think anyone cool would hire a limousine to run errands.

    Russ K.

  2. Hello: I’ve changed my mind. I think the government should print a Gazillion dollar bill. But the way things are going in this economy, it might only be worth a Zillion next week.

    And, hey, I read that Madonna “suddenly” took on a British accent a few years ago. Probably when her record sales went flat and she ran out of countries willing to let her adopt kids.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. I’m thinking, Edward, that “micro brew” ought to be sealed away, as well. Beers I see talked about as micro-brews should not be brewed by the collossi of international brewers.

    • Agreed. This weekend I attended a Halloween party at a night club. It was $30 and all you could drink — providing you wanted Coors Light. I’m sure the folks in Golden have their hands in something once known as a “micro” or “craft” brew.

  4. Pingback: Three More Things I’d Like to Put Into a Time Capsule « Prdude's Blog

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