Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my very great pleasure tonight to announce the recipient of the Inaugural Paul Neil Milne Johnstone Award for Language Mutilation.
This award is named in honour of the late Paul Johnstone of Redbridge in England, who was cited by author Douglas Adams as writing the worst poetry in the entire universe. This award isn’t about poetry, however. It’s about Language. Language — and especially the abuse of language — in all its glory.
Of the many things which make us human, Language is one of the most important. Language binds our society together. Language, some even say, is what allows us to think rational thoughts.
So when people use Language badly, when Language is abused in order to mislead, to corrupt, to baffle or to sell a product, we shouldn’t ignore it. We should stand it on a pedestal, call up the author, point to them and say in a loud voice, “This person is destroying the very meaning of humanity.”
With this in mind, I’ve chosen as the recipient of the Inaugural Paul Neil Milne Johnstone Award a representative of a profession — if I may call it that — which is renown the world over for misleading language, namely, a real estate agent.
Ladies and gentlemen, would you please put your hands together for Claudia Mendez (pictured right), of Laing+Simmons, Newtown.
Now as Claudia is making her way to the stage, I’d like to say a few words about my choice, and take a look at her work…
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