Are you just putting it on?

Manchester Copywriter ManchesterSo here goes…. the answer you’ve all been waiting for, that’s been keeping you awake at night. Bugging you like the Stazi.

Remember the Trivial Pursuit Question?

‘What is 500 hundred times sweeter than cane sugar?’

Hold on tight ……

The answer is….. according to Little Luke and Anna.

You ready for this?

Their answer was……. 0

That’s right.  Zero.

The result of the almost endless deliberation, deconstruction, disambiguation, and almost Cliff Richard like enlightenment. Zero. All that squeeking, squinting and squirming led exactly to nowhere. To absolutely nothing. Literally.

What is 500 multiplied by sweeter than cane sugar?

The question, the words, the logic, the syntax, the semiotic, the semantic had been reduced to a mathematical equation. How utterly brilliant. The phrase  ‘Sweeter than cane sugar’ somehow, somewhere, somewhy in their minds had been calculated to equal zero and that even by multiplying it 500 times would never amount to anything more or indeed anything less than zero. Genius. Perfect.

How?

And for that Luke and Anna…… I will be forever grateful. Thank you.

Here’s another example of logic and language misaligning.

A while back I was talking with a friend. A guy from one of the former Russian Republics. Let’s call him……. James.

We were in China, Zhuhai to be exact.

I was only the second Englishman that James had met at any length.

He told me about the first, a suave, well dressed chap in a bar in Guangzhou.The stranger had plied him with expensive booze and spent an entire evening schmoozing him and playing the gent. Chatting him up. According to James, trying to recruit him…. trying to persuade him to do a little business. He was being head hunted. No, not as  an exporter of MP3 players, garden furniture or even as an ear to ground ….. he was being tapped up by a rival school to jump ship and join as a TEFL teacher.

“The guy told me I was exactly the sort of person he could do business with,”James told me very proudly in his James Hetfield come Dukles of Hazard MTV drawl, “that I had all the right sort of natural skills and abilities.

Thought he was really smart. He even complimented me on my English,” James crowed. “Told me I had perfect English.”

“Haaaaa! You know what I told him? I said to the guy – hey???? …..  how do you know I’m not just putting it on?”

Ouch.

The next time you write/think/perform/work/love brilliantly – make sure you’re not just putting it on 🙂

Have you got any examples of out of sync language and logic you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them.

Thanks to DJOtaku for the image via Flickr

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