At least Brand is on brand

Russell Brand has just been awarded this year’s Foot in Mouth award from the Plain English Campaign. It’s an annual prize for the most incomprehensible writing around. They’ve called Brand’s choice of language a ‘seemingly endless stream of gibberish’. They say that his diatribes on democracy and revolution don’t actually make much sense.

Well, yes, it’s true that if you’re going to bang on about politics and revolution, it’s probably a good idea to make sure that people can understand what you’re saying. And yes, we suspect that Mr Brand isn’t exactly an avid reader of, say, Ernest Gower’s Plain Words. Here’s an extract from Brand's most recent book Revolution:

This attitude of churlish indifference seems like nerdish deference contrasted with the belligerent antipathy of the indigenous farm folk, who regard the hippie-dippie interlopers, the denizens of the shimmering tit temples, as one fey step away from transvestites.

But then clarity isn’t always the point. There’s also intriguing, provoking, engaging. He chooses the words that are interesting; he obviously likes the shape, the flow, the sound. He’s a logophile:

On what basis can an energy corporation claim to own gas at the earth's core? What's next? Are they going to claim they own our earwax and our uncried tears and start burrowing into our heads for a few sheckles?

He’s got a distinctive voice. You can instantly recognise the, ahem, Brand brand. You can’t say the same for most people talking about politics in the public eye. In fact, Mr Brand, we award you our inaugural mellifluous language award.

But it’s true he might benefit from a bit of help structuring his argument. Fancy coming to our Writer’s secrets workshop, Mr Brand?

0 min read, posted in Tone of voice, by Admin, on 5 Dec 2014

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