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Monday, September 13, 2010

Qualifying Clause Deficiency

Have you ever noticed that people are losing the ability to find a second, qualifying clause for their sentences? It is not uncommon to read "the new operating system is awesome", as a statement of fact without any contextual information. Why does the new operating system provoke reverential fear and wonder*? We never find out. What is it about the new operating system that makes it better/different? I suppose that Qualifying Clause Deficiency exists in other areas of life and has become an accepted part of our new communications culture. I think our lives would be much richer if we insisted on a qualifying clause for every assertion. It would make us think a little bit about what we want to relate, instead of just spurting something out in order to make a noise along with everyone else. 'Rocks' is the epitome of this trend. 'My new phone rocks'. What precisely does that mean? Aside from superlative hyperinflation (everything is awesome, brilliant, superb, fantastic when it should be good, functional, attractive, pleasant), why does there have to be a new, hip way of saying 'rather good' every ten minutes?

So good people of the interwebs. Use your qualifying clauses and use them well. Here are some examples to get you going:
  • The iPad is cool (because I can look at screen-based porn in the bathroom now).
  • Stephen Fry is God (because he knows more words than me).
  • The new Bang & Olufsen system is superb (it really brings out the warm analogue tones of my old Dooleys records).
  • Robbie Williams is cool (because now I can bring my secret Take That CDs out).
  • Mussolini was a git (but at least he got the trains running on time).
*Awe = n. reverential fear or wonder. Awesome = adj. 1. inspiring awe; dreaded. 2. slang marvellous, excellent. (Concise Oxford Dictionary)