Maybe I’m being overly optimisitic today, or perhaps I’ve grown a little soft…well, softer…in my old age. But I think I’ve a solution to this particular nefarious practice of the corporations who mass produce processed food co-opting words to make them seem less like corporations who mass produce processed food.
You’re aware of this, right? You’re aware of the modern day Don Drapers who offer advice to their clients such as “Y’know, Sprite, you can state you’re all-Natural, right? You’re made with naturally occurring ingredients after all”, or “Whadya know, Domino’s? It states right here in the dictionary that an artisan is a person or company who makes distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand and using traditional methods. Say! You’re a company hose pizza is made in small quantities in each of your thousands of locations, right? Looks like you’re an artisan!”
Yes, yes, Corporations have been co-opting words for years, exploiting loop-holes in regulatory code, and playing fast and loose with definitions in order to allow them to appear more wholesome than they actually are. That they are doing it now with the word ‘artisan‘ should surprise absolutely no-one.
But corporations aren’t the only ones who can co-opt language. Following in the footsteps led by Dan Savage and his defining the word santorum, we could do the same to less than stellar companies out there. For example, there’s nothing stopping us from, say, picking up this word in our vernacular:
Domino – dom·i·no verb \ˈdä-mə-ˌnō\ to settle for a far inferior product when even a marginally better one is unavailable.
As in, I’m going to have to domino, because Frankie’s closed, and Vietto’s doesn’t deliver.