Friday, 2 September 2005

Shopping Channel English

The BBC have been recently running a Voices project covering not only dialects but the different words we use depending on the region we live. We know there is the "Queen's English" and "Estuary English" and hundreds of other British dialects but I want to know where "Shopping Channel English" fits in and reckon it should.

I love to watch QVC and other shopping channels for several reasons. One is that I find them very relaxing, like a bedtime story, and they lull my hyperactive mind into sleep. Another is a bizarre one because it saves me so much money - I would rarely dream of ever buying and therefore I have saved all that money from not buying things I'm led to believe I must have. Sometimes they are good for a laugh with their really gaudy items the likes of which I could never imagine in my wildest dreams. But the main reason I enjoy them is to listen to the brilliance of the verbiage.

They usually take at least ten minutes to discuss each item and in that time they barely stop talking. With loving and exquisite detail, their silken and unscripted tongues caress. Putting into words, in many different ways, how this piece of multicoloured jewel shimmers and sparkles, glorifying your skin tone, accenting the latest fashions or saving you so much time in cleaning your house. When you listen really carefully they are either not actually saying anything or else repeating the same thing but in a different way. And they keep this up. They rarely seem to run out of words.

Salespeople at the shows talk like this and also some market stall holders. Across the shopping channels their accents are fairly neutral but they have this same gift of speaking. I really do admire this ability but I wonder what the real person is like underneath that all. Do they talk to their partners in the same way? Can words of love be treated in this way and what is it like to have your partner take ten minutes to say "I love you"? I'm sure there are times I could live with that caressing of my ego! Like a lovely long massage that would never end. But I wonder if I'd just switch off knowing it is just a load of twaddle.


Original Comments:

Karen said...

I also find QVC a wonder - How can they talk for ten minutes about a gold ring with cubic zirconia - It always reminds me of Jilly Goulden when she was on food and drink talking about how wine taste - She's getting hops, trees, dog poo and odles of grassyness - Do you think these people go the a special school to learn how to talk such crap - After reading back over this comment I think I may have attended one of the said schools.......

Friday, September 02, 2005 11:48:00 AM

doris said...

Funny! As I was reading your comment I was thinking you were doing pretty good at this language - that's the sort of stuff I would liked to have come up with in my post! :-)

Friday, September 02, 2005 1:28:00 PM

Cheryl said...

My husband will not be happy.
I know this because I know that thanks to your post, late tonight, when he relinquishes the telly button, I will be channel hopping through QVC and Bid Up and Price Drop for maybe an hour, trying to work out how they do it.
I think the QVC guys are probably the cream of the crop, don't you?

Friday, September 02, 2005 4:50:00 PM

doris said...

LOL - I think there is a certain cache to being QVC and their presentation is slicker. I find both bid-up and price-drop too noisy and prefer QVC... but there was the great beauty product on one of those 2 programmes... it consisted of ginat latex condoms with cut-out bits you wear over your face and head at night and gives you a face lift and looked absolutely freakin amazing - you can tell I was sucked in!!! But you had to wear these things every night for ever after.

Friday, September 02, 2005 5:11:00 PM

Pookie65 said...

Doris: If you're a fan of QVC you need to read Sellavision by Augusten Burroughs.

It is HYSTERICAL. It follows the lives of those working a "QVC" type shopping show.

OMG - I hope this isn't considered spamming. Spank me if it is.

Friday, September 02, 2005 5:22:00 PM

doris said...

Hmm. I charge extra for spanking! ;-)

Isn't this where I first met you ... I thought you only read romance novels? ;-)

Thanks for the link - very helpful. And I'll let you know if and when I get around to reading the book. I'd not heard of it.

Friday, September 02, 2005 5:31:00 PM

Steve said...

As a bloke I know I shouldnt admit this but I really enjoy the shopping channels, the bits I like best are the DIY hours and the kitchen stuff cos the people selling them look like they are really on a market stall. Love the coloured first letters too, is this subliminal advertising?

Saturday, September 03, 2005 2:38:00 AM

Universal Soldier said...

Wasn't QVC invented when the TV test card was turned off?

Saturday, September 03, 2005 6:55:00 AM

ella m. said...

I'm not the only home shopper! I feel much less alone now.....addictive fluff it is. :D

Saturday, September 03, 2005 7:56:00 AM

Helen said...

Maybe they hire people who were once local policiticians. Can't think of an occupation that talks so much and says so little.

Saturday, September 03, 2005 1:56:00 PM

/T/ said...

Gran's on Bran
Really an absolutely amazing and fantastic post
Even in the Netherlands they have a Shopping Channel Dutch which has a real fake american accent. I guess that sells?
And I saw your secret little hidden message.


Saturday, September 03, 2005 5:33:00 PM

Jennifer said...

Hi! Thanks for visiting! And what an eloquent description of 'Shopping Channels'. Do you think there's some special school they attend to obtain this ability to say the same thing 100 different ways without missing a beat?

Saturday, September 03, 2005 7:43:00 PM

Hannah said...

Check this link out if you want to sneer at QVC...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 9:29:00 PM

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