Rhodri Marsden: Everything's made with 'you' in mind, by which they don't mean me

Life on Marsden

Share

I'm becoming allergic to the word "you". This is problematic, because it's tremendously useful as a second-person pronoun; it allows me to ask people if they'd like anything from the shop, compliment them on their hat and, if I'm sufficiently drunk, tell them that I love them.

But you simply can't – sorry, one simply can't avoid using the word "you" without exploring the dangerous netherworld of "thou" and "ye".

And I'm not going to do that. I don't like drawing attention. I may as well put on a doublet and hose and perform a mystery play.

The source of my mild annoyance? The abuse meted out to the word "you" by advertisers. In order to establish some kind of bogus intimacy they like to address me as if I were their best mate Steve.

This isn't a new thing, of course. Years ago Microsoft asked us "Where do you want to go today?" to which my answer was generally "Paris, for a long, relaxing weekend", not that Microsoft ever arranged anything. Vodafone asked "How are you?" to which my answer was always "disillusioned", at which point the conversation ended.

But now "you" is endemic. You're being you-ised. It's the age of you.

It's youtime. "You" is huskily breathed at you, attempting to flatter you, award-winning you, into forking out for a lawnmower, or bacon, or both.

Everything's made "with you in mind" – by which, of course, they don't mean me, they mean human beings. "With this range of new heat-resistant black nylon egg whisks, we've decided to ignore the needs of the elk and cater exclusively for humans. It's not made with the elk in mind. Oh no. This is for you."

My breaking point came last week at Heathrow Airport. Just beyond passport control there was a Lufthansa advert that read "Non-stop you". I've literally no idea what is meant by non-stop me, but I'd say firstly that I'm already experiencing non-stop me – I have been since October 1971 – and secondly, it's really not all that great.

Don't try and sell me back to me; I've been using the product for 41 years and was already thinking of trying to get my money back. Then I turned a corner and saw a poster referring to the new Terminal 2 as "Terminal You", at which point I sighed and went to Hamburg.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A press image from the company  

If men are so obsessed by their genitals, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities of sex?

Chloë Hamilton
Workers clean the area in front of the new Turkish Presidential Palace prior to an official reception for Republic day in Ankara  

Up Ankara, for a tour of great crapital cities

Dom Joly
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory