Thursday, July 09, 2009

Not So Gullible, After All

Evidence for the use of both hyperbole and understatement with ironic, comic intent in a public announcement. From the wall of the restaurant where I had lunch on Sunday:

The sign reads:

"For spicy curry, an additional 100 yen

5 times = hot
10 times = painful
15 times = numbness
20 times = ambulance

First time customers please start with the '5 times' as hot option"

The politicians, bureaucrats and business elites spew out vast quantities of nonsensical verbiage, confident that the citizens of this blessed land can be fooled by words. Our betters should be more careful. The citizens are not fools. They know very well that what is said cannot be accepted at face value; that words are pliable and even false; and that meaning must be teased from out of language.

2 comments:

Sogo Nihon said...

"The citizens are not fools. They know very well that what is said cannot be accepted at face value; that words are pliable and even false; and that meaning must be teased from out of language."

Is this the same MTC that wrote about the lack of inquisition into the circumstances behind the Ozawa (and his secretary) controversy? From cynical criticism of the public to almost poetic praise? I can't read quite read you. Did you eat too much of the 20 times curry?

MTC said...

Sogo Nihon -

No, I am just sick of being played for a fool by stuff like this:

http://tinyurl.com/p3h6pz

Those responsible should at least have had the decency of allowing the publisher to do as the art museums do and label the piece "attributed to..."