The main bulletin is over. Hugh or Emily or Peter or whoever’s go it is, smiles, shuffles papers a bit and announces brightly, ‘And now for the news where you are.’ Of course, the news in Birmingham won’t be the same as the news in London, which will be different from the day’s events in Swalesdale, which won’t be the same as those in St Ives. Why not? Because it’s local news. There you see – there’s already a perfectly good, serviceable word, which describes the situation perfectly. So come on guys – how about using it.
The habit of personalising everything is not restricted to newsreaders. The weather boys and girls, bless their spits and spots, have got into the same annoying habit of telling us about the weather ‘where you are.’ Oh really! It’s raining in my sitting room is it? And is that a patch of low cloud shrouding the lower deck of the bus? And yes, I did notice a distinct drop in temperature in Tesco. Though of course that could have been because I was standing right next to the freezers.
The prime example of this obsession with the possessive pronoun is M & S. Am I the only person who finds the expression ‘Your M&S’ not only irritating but more than a little smug. They are a bit holier than thou, with all this sustainable this and additive free that. I might have had more respect for them if they had a sense of humour. Alas, that was sadly lacking back in April when Ann Summers, the equally iconic sex shop parodied the Meal Deal offer and just about everything else. And cheekily transformed the famous slogan into ‘Your S & M’ with the strapline – ‘It’s not just sex, it’s Ann Summers sex.’ But instead of seeing the funny side, poor old Marks and Sparks got its knickers in a twist. Ann Summers got a right old slap on the wrist. Though a slap on the bottom might have been more appropriate. The ads never ran.