Sunday, December 28, 2008

Is this obvious?

Here’s my pet hate at the moment. Obviously. Is there a word that is so misused in current parlance that it’s practically taking on a new meaning that is diametrically opposed to its proper one? Example, the news bulletin a few nights back, credit crunch focused, as you’d expect. Poor chap on the brink of losing his job, much sympathy to him, we’ve all got a very challenging and tough 2009 to ‘look forward to’. “It’s a big worry for me,” he says, of his impending redundancy, “because obviously I have three children.” Who is this obvious to? Him and his wife perhaps, his mother as well, I assume. Hardly anyone else! Cold callers, “obviously our product is better / cheaper / more efficient [delete as appropriate].” It’s not obvious! It’s just not! Really gets me wound up. Obviously.

It’s a bit like that sign you so often see that starts, ‘Polite Notice’. Thank you. Write your notice politely and we’ll know it’s a ‘Polite Notice’!

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