Monday, 29 October 2007

Put that in your pipe and peep it

Correspondence just in: my employer reminds concerned parties of workplace anti-discrimination regulations, noting, in particular, that "The University has policies, procedures, publicity materials and people in place to deal with inquiries or complaints relating to discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment." I haven't seen such a sustained act of plosive alliteration since Peter Piper picked his peck of pickled peppers, and, dag nabbit, I like it.

Idle minds, of course, turn now to that plethora of public policy documents that have failed to fully capitalise on their alliterative potential. The New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority's "How to Get a Heavy Vehicle Driver Licence", for instance, could be restyled as "Hoping to Have a Heavy Hauler Handler Licence?". The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Regulation Act (2006), Regulation 7 (currently, "The Authority may, by means of signs, barriers or buoys, close temporarily the whole or any part of a public area [other than a public road] to the public"), should be refigured thusly: "The Authority may, by buoys, barriers or beacons, betoken the brief beclosure of the big bulk or any bit of a boulevard (besides a byway) to the bourgeoisie (&c.)". What's lost in precision is more than made up for in tongue-tappin', and that, mesdames, is a fair trade.


Maria said...

Fantastic timing, Alexis. I'm finishing up my College of Law assignment right now, and I'm writing up a letter to a client (imaginary). Trying to fill in some space with a bit of padding, as I'm feeling a bit embarrassed that my "minimum 1000 words letter" so far has barely gone over the 500 words mark, and I've not a lot else to say. Gosh, I usually exceed the 1000 words mark AFTER the third edit and prune.

I'll try a bit of poetic alliteration. Clients need a bit of punny phunny cheering up. This one does, I'm sure.

"Phew! Phunnily enough, your pheud with the Pharmaceuticals company has been philed away. A plethora of public policy, procedure and programs in our plentiful pamphlets may be perused periodically ..."

Thankee, friend, I knew I could count on you.

TimT said...

A spifflingly splendidiferous suggestion! They could also try:

- Work directives in rhyme:

Before you come to work for me,
You must first read these procedurals three....

- Driving the policies home by a series of medieaval-style allegories, collected in an illuminated manuscript, viz:

The Fable of the Ylluftriouf Colleague

BOOK ONE: Workplace Health and Fafety,
Whatte to do whenne there if a DRAGON under your defk

- The Dada approach to workplace policy - the writer of the policy directive cuts out all the words, scatters them around the computer screen, and creates 'Found Poetry' with the result - which is often both more meaningful AND more interesting than the original letter.

TimT said...

Not to mention! The Greens in Tasmania are doing their bit to further the use of alliteration, at least, according to one news report I just heard...

Peg Putt is pushing for the public service and ministerial car pool to trial the use of hybrids.

blue_haired_jennifer said...

I'm sorry to say that, after today, my Alliterative Allowance may have been revoked.

A friend's essay, which (inexplicably) uses the metaphor of the deep-sea octopus to discuss Kant's theories, now contains the phrases 'Hegelian harpoons' and 'Darwinian dynamite' (used for fishing in Southeast Asia, doncha know).

I might, um, possibly be responsible. Maybe. Question is, am I a bad influence, or a good one?

Martin Kingsley said...

Truly, totally terrific and terribly timely, too, TimT.

alexis said...

It's true, Kingsley. TimT, All-round Alliterator, at your service.

Jennifer, you'll go far, you will. Metaphors be with you. Oh. Sorry. That's your'n.

Maria, a pleasure to oblige, as always, but note that I take no responsibility for your College o' Law assignment.

Maria said...

Just read a spew about Kevin Rudd on a blog recently, calling him a "poncy, prissy pathetic pretender to the prime-ministership"

Perhaps an unfair assessment, but a beautiful use of alliteration!

alexis said...

Don't you have an imaginary legal letter you're supposed to be working on?

Maria said...

All done yesterday Alexis. very proud o' that, I am!

Rang up Mr Coffee right after the writing and ordered him to congratulate me!

Nothing like a few induced accolades to make a girl feel special!