Obscuring English

april 21, 2008

I was driving home the other night listening to news radio when I heard two car commercials almost back to back. The car companies were trying to push their CPO vehicles. CPO? You are asking yourself, what is that? It is a new marketing acronym for "Certified Pre-Owned". It was those two commercials that had me thinking about this rant. It seems like we are speaking less and less in clear terms -- and spending more time trying to obscure things with difficult language (or crazy acronyms). The only real reason to speak in long drawn out obscure English is to hide something. CPO...Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle. Come on, say it like it is. These are used cars. You're selling used cars. I don't care how many of your mechanics look at the car. I don't care how many "points" they check or what kind of new warranty comes with the car. These are still used cars. So what is someone trying to hide with CPO? "What kind of car did you get?" "Oh, I got a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes!" "Neat." Try it again, the way it is supposed to be... "What kind of car did you get?" "Uh, I got a used Mercedes..." "Oh." These car companies are helping those image conscious (ie. the cheap vain bastards) look good when they buy a used car. IED...Improvised Explosive Device. This one is particularly bad and overly used by the US Military and US Media. Come on, say it like it is. These are bombs. And if you really want to make it clear, these are bombs made by some terrorist in his basement. What are they trying to hide? "An IED destroyed that Humvee." "Damn terrorists! They are using those IEDs!" How about this: "A f*cking BOMB blew up the Humvee!" "Holy sh*t!!" The media is trying to hide the sting of American soldiers dying from home-made bombs. Doesn't IED sound so much more technologically advanced than a "home-made bomb"? I fear the day when doctors ask patients for PPFS. Yes, that is right, PPFS -- PrePost-Processed Food Substance. "Sir, we're not sure what you have, but if you could give us a PPFS sample, we'll run that over to the lab to have it looked at." To those that obscure English: STFU.