The Curmudgeon is quick to make fun of some of the things people write, whether it’s verbifications, strange headlines, or other such nonsense, but he’s generally reluctant to criticize things people say. We don’t talk the same way we write, we don’t have the chance to edit what we’ve said after we’ve said it, and our standards and expectations for the spoken word are very different from those we have for the written word. Also, anyone who works on television or in politics or in public affairs is inevitably going to speak extemporaneously a lot and is just as inevitably going to say something he or she wishes she had said differently. In general, The Curmudgeon doesn’t like to jump all over such people for minor oral miscues.
But sometimes the target is just too tempting.
One of those targets jumped off the computer screen and practically hit The Curmudgeon over the head recently when he was reading an article in a trade publication about the merger of CVS and Aetna – a merger, by the way, that is sure to benefit absolutely no one other than people who own stock in CVS and Aetna and the people who helped broker the deal. It cannot possibly help consumers.
Anyhow, the CEO of CVS was trying to explain how owning a health insurance company might change what customers find when they enter a CVS store and explained that he hoped his company would become more of a “health care destination” for people.
A destination? Like…Mount Rushmore?
He continued talking about how the company would experiment in a few of its stores, offering the kinds of services we’re not accustomed to encountering at our neighborhood drug store. He called them “concept stores” and said the company hoped to learn new things from them.
Oh, if only he had said the company hoped to learn new things from them.
But no, he had to try to make it sound more complicated than that and ended up saying
I’m sure we’ll get some tremendous learnings from those first stores.
Yes he did: he said he hoped they’d get “some tremendous learnings from those first stores.”