Unsea­sonal cam­paign gives us ‘in­spo’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

Wiz­zard front­man Roy Wood once sang that he wished it could be Christ­mas ev­ery day.

And af­ter his 1973 hit, per­haps his wish has fi­nally come true.

A few weeks ago, while we sat back and en­joyed the balmy tem­per­a­tures and warm sun­shine of July, we re­ceived an email from Prom­i­nent PR.

It was on be­half of the British Christ­mas Tree Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, who did a study to show that Ashford is a “hotspot” for those with the sur­name Christ­mas.

The study also re­vealed that Mar­gate is the home for Ru­dolph, while Ton­bridge is the home for the An­gels.

The up­shot of this fas­ci­nat­ing – though ill-timed – in­for­ma­tion is that the as­so­ci­a­tion is pro­mot­ing its Keep it Real cam­paign to get us to buy real Christ­mas trees.

Bizarrely they also want peo­ple with fes­tive names to cel­e­brate Christ­mas in July and share their cel­e­bra­tion on the BCTGA Face­book page, with en­tries to be judged in Septem­ber this year. Fi­nal­ists are in with a chance of win­ning a tree for De­cem­ber – the proper time to cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

Alarm­ing stud­ies are show­ing how tra­di­tional English spellings and gram­mar are grad­u­ally be­ing lost to Amer­i­can syn­tax.

In­creas­ingly th­ese Amer­i­can­isms are creep­ing into ev­ery­day par­lance, par­tic­u­larly among young­sters in mo­bile phone tex­ting and ap­pli­ca­tions.

As a re­sult of this, we see our pub­lic re­la­tions col­leagues in Lon­don are very quick on the up­take.

We see nor­mal words like con­ver­sa­tion have been ab­bre­vi­ated to “convo”, and such like. But the word that made the Nuts and Bolts desk flinch the other week was in a pro­mo­tion from Ashford’s County Square shop­ping cen­tre, which ab­bre­vi­ated the word in­spi­ra­tion to “in­spo”.

Rightly, the shop­ping cen­tre was hop­ing to at­tract cus­tomers for the sum­mer fes­ti­val sea­son and do­ing its bit to boost the town’s Cre­ate Fes­ti­val.

But surely ask­ing peo­ple to “fol­low our in­sta­gram for more fash­ion in­spo” is a crime against our great lan­guage?

Roy Wood and Wiz­zard on Top of the Pops; British Christ­mas Tree Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion sec­re­tary Harry Brightwell; County Square pop up fash­ion shows

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