Culture

Say What You Mean

Zeitgeisters,
It was the March Hare who was pointed out to Alice that saying what you mean is not the same as meaning what you say.

Writers deal with this question all the time. Sometimes phrased as “What am I trying to say?” This is always a good thing to ask oneself. You start a piece or a script or an article thinking you have a clear idea of what you wish to express, but by the end, the meaning has leaked away. Or perhaps your powerful notion was only worth a couple of good lines; you can’t tell until you’ve done the work.

Sometimes I wonder what others are trying to express. I was driving behind a reasonably expensive, late model vehicle last week and the licence plate that read MBZZLD. Funny. I assumed it was meant, jocularly: “I got this car by embezzling funds from work”. Although, without knowing the context, the plate might have meant: “This is all I have left, after my money was embezzled from my business by my shonky accountant.”

Later in the week I saw a woman in the Woolstores Shopping Centre in Fremantle wearing a t-shirt that said ANGRY, YOUNG and BROKE. She was clearly middle-aged. Did she still think of herself as young? Or was she being some kind of ironic wiseacre?

As I was buying groceries this evening, I spotted a sign in a window looking for a lead singer for a band. The right candidate has to be “charismatic and hard-working”. I have seen both in the same package before, but not often. Is it because people with natural charisma often don’t learn a work ethic because they don’t have to? No, I’ve descended to sweeping generalisations yet again.

My favourite piece of writing for this week is the slogan: “Creativity Beyond Imagination.” This is the positioning statement for the chain of Australian bead stores named Beadsy Beads. That’s beyond my imagination anyway.

Elevate the Insignificant,

Mr Trivia

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