Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Double-Speak

The only seat free on the bus this morning was in front of a man and woman talking at an intrusive volume. At first I was annoyed that I couldn’t concentrate on reading my book with their incessant talking behind me but then I abandoned my reading and decided their conversation was more interesting anyway.

It was immediately obvious that this pair were not friends, family or lovers but work colleagues and their whole conversation revolved around someone called Trevor who was causing them both a problem. But this was a work conversation, so their dislike for Trevor was shrouded in business speak, each of them using carefully selected phrases that whilst getting their message across, could not be used against them at a later date should the other one turn. People do not speak like this in real life, only at work, but what struck me as odd about this conversation was that it was taking place on a bus in the suburbs. These sorts of conversations don’t seem so strange on a train but it seemed so wrong on a double-decker bus.

It was not evident what Trevor had done, but apparently he was in a better position than our pair as he had a powerful ally in (the Dickensian named) Gerry Mudd. Gerry Mudd was taking Trevor’s side and this was a problem. The man of our pair understood this to be a problem, but a solution was not so simple.

“We need a representative on earth” he said. Were they some sort of gods? I’m picturing a council of immortals like in ‘Clash of the Titans’. He continued ‘Of course we did have Drysdale in there, but then he went native’. Went native! A term I’ve only heard used when talking about undercover police work! Who speaks like this?

There was some mention of a railway. I was disappointed when the bus journey ended as I was intrigued by what field this pair were in – railway espionage it sounded like. (I think they might have worked for a local authority in reality)

I think I talk too plainly to ever succeed in these sorts of fields. On a related note, tomorrow I’m going to Lichfield. I’ve nothing against Lichfield. I know absolutely nothing about it. Except it sounds like the sort of place people like the bus pair would go on business. If I say outloud the phrase ‘I’m in Lichfield tomorrow’ I sound like one of them.

5 comments:

Inspector Monkfish said...

Nah, I think you'd need to say "Myself and John from S&R are going to Lichfield tomorrow, so that we can sort out the alien problem."

Nicely obscure ;)

Anonymous said...

I like the use of the present tense in, "I'm in Lichfield tomorrow," It's grammatically wrong and yet has an immanence about it, like, "Tomorrow I shall rise from the dead."

LJ.

Roses said...

I hope you make it back from Lichfield in one piece.

What a fabulous conversation to earwig. I'm jealous. Far more fun than armpits.

V*Kstro said...

Oh how I miss public transportation. You transported me next to your side. It's the only thing that will be painted in my mind until my eyes filter my next good read.

SandDancer said...

Back safely from Lichfield!

IM - you will go far talking like that!

LJ - I hadn't realised it was grammatically incorrect until you pointed it out but this is how people talk!

V*kstro - it is much easier to enjoy public transport when you don't have to use it. Although I do quite like the bus - I like sitting on the top deck, enjoying the views and listening to other people's conversations.