Saturday, December 30, 2006

The rise and rise of fan-created random off ofs

Saturday, December 30, 2006

The 2006 edition of Lake Superior State University's Banished Words List is out. Sadly it doesn't include any of my latest pet peeves so I intend to bore you with them here instead.

'Off of'. An imbecilic, infantile and totally redundant John Wayneism, yet it's everywhere you look at the moment. I'm convinced people are deliberately shoehorning it into the most inappropriate sentences simply to wind me up. There are almost no circumstances under which it makes sense to say 'off of'. "Spin-off of x" or "rip-off of y" I'll grant you, but in practically every other instance 'from', 'on' or a single 'off' will suffice.

Just stop it or I'll bounce the Oxford English Dictionary off of your bonce.

If you type "for * fans by * fans" into Google you are treated to a mélange of 126,000 instances of fans of one thing or another claiming to have created something for other fans of one thing or another. It seems to be the stock slogan for people who don't do slogans, yet insist on christening their magazine, blog, TV show, podcast or whatever with one anyway. And they don't just slip it in subtly, they announce it with chirpy glee as though the audience won't have heard anything remotely like it ever before.

Worse still is the even more glib variation "for the people by the people" (247,000 Google results!). On second thoughts, this one is quite informative because it distinguishes media intended for the consumption of rabbits, but created by snails from that devised by humans for humans.

If you're really that desperate to adopt a meaningless tagline use this instead. At least add a bit of flavour to the mix.

Why bother? Is it not safe to assume that if you're running an extensive web site solely dedicated to Tony the Tiger collectibles and memorabilia of the 1920s that you're reasonably fond of the subject matter? Even if you're getting paid to produce content for a niche readership I'd imagine that you've been specifically selected for the job at least partly on account of your specialist knowledge - and hence interest - in that field.

'That's so random'. Have you noticed how absolutely everything is 'random' these days? Life hasn't spontaneously become more haphazard than it was previously, yet only recently have people become preoccupied with pointing out what appears to be a new discovery for them. Unless you write a daily script to rival the predictability of a Scooby Doo cartoon and hand it out a week in advance to anyone you expect to come into contact with, you can guarantee that some Muppet will look at you with a tilty-headed, quizzical expression and declare "that's so random.

For the record, this post was generated by an exceedingly formulaic mathematical algorithm developed at the beginning of the paleolithic era as foretold by a soothsayer during the Lepton Epoch.

4 comments:

Trias

There there it'll be right in the morning... once you get off of your butt.

Bwhahahaha. Ok it wasn't that funny.

Anonymous

You resent the yanks for polluting the beautiful English language. It's OK, you can say it.

If they can't pronounce words properly, how do you expect them to write them down correctly?

Carmel, what the *&$@ is that?

Ditto mee-er?

Mobal phone anyone?

Nookula toobs?

Trias

Hey is that your first troll? Bit of a letdown really. Not even sure what they are talking about.

dreamkatcha

There have been a couple on other posts, but it's all a bit pointless seeing as this blog has such a miniscule level of audience participation.

They may as well stomp into the nearest forest and shout at the trees.

 
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