Monday, January 12, 2009

You’re an Audi…

…constrained to drive at Mini-speeds, my manager said to me today. The prompt for this automotive comparison was the word on his word-a-day calendar:

Hebetude - meaning lethargy or dullness.
What caught his notice was the sentence it was used in: “The hebetude displayed by such bright students was just one sign that they were not being sufficiently challenged in their classes.” Hence the ‘you’re an Audi’ comment, because he sensed I’m not being challenged in my job (probably true), and as a result am lethargic (also probably true).

Staying sharp is a challenge as a copywriter. Occasional chances to stretch creatively help. But it was a word on the back which caught my eye - “hebetate”: “to make dull”. That is one of the primary functions of the committee sign off, as far as I see it - to commit vanillacide and blandify what we do so it’s so inoffensive it’s ineffective.

From now on I’m going to send copy for approval marked up ‘For you to hebetate’. No one will ever look up the definition.


  1. I'm not sure its an accurate comparison...minis can be quite nippy (well, BMW ones anyway).'re a BMW Z4 constrained to drive at Kia Picanto speeds...

  2. I'm going to have to use some of these words. (I enjoy being sesquipedalian.)