It is local election time and political campaigning leaflets are outnumbering takeaway menus at the moment. The blurb on them is, by and large, airy-fairy claptrap, of course. I often say that on the morning after ballot boxes have closed, that mighty din of whirring is the sound of manifestos, promises and pledges being shredded en masse.
Here's a leaflet that was posted through my door. I will not identify the contender but I was intrigued by something - the use of exclamation marks and other emphases. I have edited out a few bits.
"Do we want more of the same, are we all fed up of all the broken promises, the ineptitude or do we want CHALLENGE and CHANGE??"
I will deliver CHALLENGE and CHANGE: using my core values of Openness, Transparency, Fairness, Integrity, Passion, Innovation and Accountability!!
I will drive change via those core values, my track record over the past 16 years is a successful one!
I will make a difference for my ward, for local people, for the sake of our children, grand-children and their children!!!"
This is non-specific nonsense and it seems to me the writer knows this because of the need to use capital letters, 2 question marks at the beginning and 6 exclamation marks throughout. Emphasising nothing of substance is emphasising nothing.
Brainstorming a lot of words and calling them "core values" is a typical political tactic. They all sound fine and noble but nothing else. There is no commitment here. Nothing.
So, always be wary, folks, of lazy words, meaningless sentences and over-exuberant use of punctuation from political contenders.
Now, I will DELIVER this waste of paper to the bin forthwith!!!!!!