Bat­tery- pow­ered bab­ble

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Prime Space - From Page 1

Later you trudge for­lorn, bat­tery- less and de­jected into a ho­tel room. And there a mag­i­cal elec­tronic trans­for­ma­tion takes places.

How do you de­scribe the sheer ela­tion as you switch on your mo­bile’s charger: im­me­di­ately you can see it pump­ing life- giv­ing amps into a dead phone? Don’t you feel like ring­ing some­one just be­cause you can?

If ever there was a need for new busi­ness terms, it is at the air­port. There you are 20 min­utes af­ter leav­ing the plane hud­dled around a carousel wait­ing for bag­gage, re­gret­ting that you didn’t have the fore­sight to pack ev­ery­thing into a cabin bag. Like a hostage you stand, eyes pierc­ing the black plas­tic strips, wait­ing for and will­ing the belt to move.

Sud­denly it starts. The black plas­tic strips flut­ter; a bag ap­pears. It’s yours. Yours is the first bag yielded by the Bag­gage- Han­dling Gods. A rush of ex­treme plea­sure rip­ples across your body as you lean into the crowd to claim your bag. There is no known term for this ex­pe­ri­ence of height­ened bag­gage con­scious­ness, al­though I think bag­gasm’’ is pretty close to the mark.

Back in the of­fice and the need for new terms con­tin­ues. How do you de­scribe the feel­ing of fu­til­ity and bore­dom you ex­pe­ri­ence when you agree to a one- hour meet­ing but within the first 30 sec­onds you know it’s point­less you be­ing there. But you have to stick it out. Then again this leads to an­other feel­ing of ela­tion as you leave 59 min­utes later.

More than 300 years ago the French es­tab­lished the Academie Fran­caise to pro­tect the in­tegrity of their na­tive lan­guage. We need a Cor­po­rate Academy where philoso­phers and the­olo­gians might dis­cuss and muse over pre­cisely the right term to de­scribe the feel­ings, the cir­cum­stances and the sit­u­a­tions that cor­po­rates fre­quently find them­selves in. Their first task would be to rat­ify my es­pe­cially coined term, the bag­gasm’’.

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