What I Really Meant Was …

Woman talking with alphabet letters.

Language is a fascinating subject and so intense that one can only touch on some aspects in one article. Communication can be verbal, written, auditory via radio and television and by methods of illustration in the form of advertisements and posters, even mannerisms and physical gestures. Meaning of words and phrases are alone so complex and misinterpreted due to cultural differences, disabilities like poor hearing, stuttering or lack of education.

Language is continually changing and adapts more rapidly in the present age of technology and jargon is commonplace in many fields, composed of specialized words and terminology in  trades and professions, such as :

“think outside the box” –  give greater thought to

“euphemize” – exclude access to outsiders

“end user perspective” possible success of a launch and in the military

“ICBM” inter-continental ballistic missiles

One of the finest features of human communication is the euphemism, a milder substitute for too blunt, harsh or embarrassing wording, a more neutral way of expression.

Euphemisms were no doubt popular during the rather conservative and quaint Victorian era. For example  “to powder one’s nose” meant going to the toilet, an alcoholic drank “an adult beverage”, a person being fired was “given an early retirement possibility’ and “passing onto other realms” was, well you guessed it, dying !!

Advertising is a powerful tool and manipulative wording can dupe unsuspecting and  naive consumers. Wording, colours, shapes and sizes can influence credibility and many false claims are made in the beauty industry such as “sheds kilos, cures acne, stimulates vitality, grows hair and erases wrinkles !!”

The promotional ethics presiding within Matsimela disallow a “quick-fix” approach.

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