Why is a courtesy car now called a customer experience vehicle?

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Why do we have to have ‘experiences?’

Everywhere you turn, the word is attached to the most mundane chores and activities – the latest buzz word leapt upon by marketing gurus and social media whizzkids who have one flat white coffee too many before their mid-morning nap.

We no longer go shopping. We have a “retail experience.”

I read a tweet recently from a passenger who landed at Edinburgh Airport and complained at the length of time it took to get to the exit.

The airport apologised that he hadn’t had a good “arrivals experience.”

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And on Sunday, driving back from Edinburgh, I almost drove into the central reserve as the car on my inside was emblazoned with the slogan “customer experience vehicle.”

In other words, a courtesy car.

I wish I’d clocked the name of the company responsible for this inanity as I’d happily name and shame them here.

Sadly, the sight of this marketing drivel ruined my own homeward experience and I found myself muttering dark thoughts all the way across the Queensferry Crossing.

Language changes all the time, words and phrases come and go, but it seems the millennials’ desire to invent a new way of speaking is bludgeoning it into sterility.

Taking every day activities and re-branding them as an experience is the sort of idea that comes out of meetings attended by people who can compose tweets consisting entirely of emojis and hashtags.Basically, a digital version of what your five-year old does when you hand him a set of crayons and a blank bit of paper.

The marketing folk purr with joy at the thought of a “retail experience” and the social media team is hash tagging all the Instagram influencers – nope, no idea what they are, and care even less – to make it a ‘thing’.

And once it is unleashed, it spreads like the flu.

Suddenly the checkout girl in the supermarket is asking if you’ve had a good retail experience.

It’s only a matter of time before the kid behind the counter of McDonald’s inquires if you enjoyed your instant gastronomic experience, and the prison officer checks on his guests to ensure they have had a pleasant enforced residential experience

It’s all utter nonsense - meaningless and overblown waffle – but it slowly seeps into everyday usage and gets applied to everything we do.

The English language is rich and evocative. It bends with every trend, absorbs every buzzword and still retains its ability to describe moments, and people, in ways which can move us to tears of joy and sorrow, often at the same time.

Re-packaging the everyday and the ordinary into experiences makes a mockery of all that wonderful vocuabulary – and shows up the complete lack of original thinking of those who actually come up with such phrases in the first place.

The only consolation is that these experiences will wither, and we will return once more to the dull, familiar world of courtesy cars.