The other cliché I have grown to hate is the use of the gerund, that part of speech I can still remember from parsing English and Latin sentences at school, the dreaded “-ing” word. It appears everywhere now in all the meaningless slogans called “mission statements” which even the acupuncture world was not immune to. My school was asked to provide one as part of its accreditation programme and I came up with the words, blissfully free of the gerund, “An ancient form of healing for a modern world”, which I’m still proud of, and which still represents, in a kernel, the truth of what I do.
Every company apparently now feels they have to attach to every advertising hoarding some banal statement such as, “building a better
The worst example I have so far come across is one I glimpsed on the side of a van, obviously that of some kind of gardening company involved in smartening up people’s window-boxes. It said, “Fusing people, plants and flowers”. Instead of window-boxes, the image that came into my mind was that of a beautiful Botticelli painting of some young woman, in a flowing gown, her hair entwined with roses, and enfolded by flowers, not, I imagine what the gardening company wanted me to think of. At least this beautiful image took my mind of the banality of the words which had prompted it.
I’m waiting for the dreaded day when I will see, blazoned above a hospital entrance, my two pet hates combined together, in the words “Your hospital, caring for a healthier world”.