Thursday, October 20, 2011

Humpty Dumpty put to shame!

Remember the line from Through The Looking-Glass where Humpty Dumply insists that Alice do the complicated task of substracting 1 out of 365 on the piece of paper? In these lines, Carrol was supposed to have laughed at linguists' alleged helplessness in math. Well, could be true, judging by a college web site I browsed through the other day.  

Here's the "Perfect English Formula" that their English Department think will help them advertise themselves.  

Now, I don't know what does the square root have to do with it. But please note, that the "Enjoy" is in the denominator. Which means, for all you Humpty Dumpties out there, that the more you enjoy, the less you learn. And, vice versa, the less fun you're having in class, the more you're going to know. Enjoyment, in other words, impedes with the success of learning!

I have a weird feeling that it's exactly the opposite of what they were actually trying to say.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The soccer theme continued.

I wrote “I can hardly wait for the Russian National to play another decisive match” the other time, and so they did, the other day, against Slovakia. A win would be as good as a ticket to the Euro Cup finals, a loss – big trouble. What can be more decisive than that?

As a persuasive communication researcher, however, I was slightly disappointed. Apparently, there were no ads filmed specifically for the occasion – nothing more than the general theme ads that could be shown on any channel and occasion, with almost inconspicuous captions signifying that the advertisers were the National’s sponsors or “partners”.  
Maybe this is all because the National’s games are now shown on another TV channel, the only one here that is really owned by the Government in the property point of view, and one that tries to be very serious and less populist.

On the other hand, with all that political activity that is going on currently it’s possible that soccer simply isn’t the first thing that’s on the public’s mind.

Or, it could mean that I’m right and the failures like those I described in that post the other time really hurt the advertisers’ business, and the account ledgers thereof testified thereto. 

What with all that, the initial disappointment was that, without any advertising, there was no way to make a prognosis. Or was there? As one of the rules of semiotics says, the absence of a sign in a position that dictates the use of a sign is a sign in itself. The deliberate decision not to play the tune of the National Soccer Struggle would mean, I reasoned, that the issue was perceived as too serious to be dishonored by using it as a joke or a vehicle for an advertising message. I figured that meant the National was likely to win. And guess what – they did!