The Fretty Bored Clinic’s morning Group Therapy session was gaining momentum. ‘Gay’ was comforting ‘Like’ but despite her recent troubles, ‘Like’s’ despair was turning to anger and now fuelling a greater confidence.
”Only the other day, there I was, minding my own business, when some middle-aged bloke grabbed me for one of those Twitter post things…”
“Go on…”, encouraged ‘Gay’, once abused himself, but since the explosion of social media, now used to his newly-formed identity and a thoroughly committed mentor to fellow victims of abuse.
“I liked a You Tube video…” ‘Like’ went on, “Liked! Liked?”
Tears started to roll down the flushed cheeks of a desperate and enraged ‘Like’.
“I mean… what the hell is that? What… you liked it once, but now you’ve gone off it because you’ve discovered you’re allergic to the cute Pomeranian poodle it features? You liked a video… but now you’re not too fussed but still felt the need to tell everyone?”
“Hey girl, it’s just a button on a page…” ‘Gay’ reassured.
“No, no… NO. It’s a button… with my… like… ness all over it,” sobbed the beleaguered, once proud word.
At that moment, the fractious teenager ‘Loll’ butted in, “I so know what you mean… I was, like, doing my thing, describing scenes of lethargy and generally taking a load off when someone, like, chopped off one of my els and started, like, throwing me all over Facebook and You Tube. Now I’m, like, all over the place… laughing out loud one minute and feeling lots of love the next. Was chatting to ‘Blog’ the other day, who I reckon’s just a toilet that’s, like, nicked my letter but that’s another story, and he was, like, totally agreeing with me…”
‘Like’ went into meltdown.
At which point, the mentor, ‘Gay’ had his attention diverted by ‘Friend’.
“You think that’s bad… I just used to be a happy-go-lucky noun… fairly sociable… happy to meet up with people and that…”
“Then what…?” coaxed ‘Gay’.
“People started taking advantage,” ‘Friend’ went on, “they turned me into a bloody verb… people want to friend me, they want to friend each other… bloody hell, people are even friending companies ‘n’ stuff… I’m… I’m just so tired… I never stop… DOING things.”
‘Gay’ could see this was going to be one hell of a tough therapy session and just at that exact point, ‘Share’ was flouncing past the Chelsea clinic, trailed by a hoard of paparazzi and fashion hacks and absolutely loving her new-found attention. Since the dark days of monetarist thinking, privatisation, out-of-control consumerism and general selfishness in society, ‘Share’ had felt the heavy weight of loneliness for too long. Now she was popping up in all the usual high-profile places, including her own favourite, Vimeo. And on top of that, due to an on-the-ball agent and a watertight contract, was still being used correctly and certainly wasn’t experiencing the abuse of her fellow words inside the white marble building she passed.
Life was good.
But for how long?
Amongst the fashion hacks was a grumpy, former advertising copywriter, who was watching ‘Share’s’ every move. He was indeed a dangerous man as he could no longer take the constant abuse of the language he once loved and in his own twisted mind, decided to jack it all in and mount a personal and bloody campaign of terror against incorrect word usage, whether it was deemed the normal evolution of language or not.
Was he right? Should he have acknowledged that words constantly evolve, with some of the greatest new word creators including the likes of Shakespeare?
Whether he was right or wrong, it was certainly true that the tired old copywriter should take some time out and maybe just chillax a little.