Welcome to the Wakefield Doctrine (the theory of clarks, scotts and rogers)
With all gratitude to Lewis Carroll and his timeless question, ‘why is a raven like a writing desk?’ I would pose the semi-rhetorical question: What does a scottian woman sound like when she tries to speak rogerian?
“Now has never been a better time to…!”
See?! See what I have to contend with? A reality full of Doctrine remnants, relics, and large-sorta-like-in-the-movie-‘Alien’-these-scary-organomechanical structures?
I’m at work today, trying to earn a living. In the process doing the thing that I do, stumbled upon agent website and written across the front, the above (example is abridged) statement, accompanied of course with a very good photo of the afore-referenced scottian female.
If you’re here (and still reading), I’ll assume you’re familiar with one of primary (and, frankly, endearing) characteristic traits* of those who live in the worldview of the Herd, the rogerian expression. It’s a form/style/idiosyncrasy of language totally specific to our herd-based brethren. Hell, I’ll go further and say that hearing a genuine rogerian expression makes it a leadpipe cinch that you’re dealing with a roger.
But a rogerian expression is more than simply a curious (and amusing) quirk in one’s choice of words. It is not an error (grammatical, rhetorical, any other -cal), it is a deliberate use of the ‘wrong’ words. It is also quite the aggressive act, because even, (and especially face-to-face), the roger employing the expression will exhibit not the slightest sign of self-consciousness or un-certainty. If anything, they will be ‘on high alert’. We students of the Doctrine are trained to watch the roger in a situation where a rogerian expression is being deployed, because we know how everyone else will react. rogers will appear not to notice anything out of the ordinary and the clarks and scotts will be laughing in delighted surprise. Don’t believe me? Here, in the block quotes, are a few of the rogerian expressions that we’ve recorded.
…looking at his paycheck, a roger was heard to say: ‘oh man! Look at how much they deducted for aggravated security’
…talking about a new DVD release for a movie: ‘no, I’m going to wait until they release the un-abashed edition’
…about to talk to a client: ‘I know I have to give them the bad news with the good news, I just won’t baby-coat it’
(and the most recent recorded rogerian expression)…
…writing in a blog about how egotistical certain real estate agents tend to be an unknown roger wrote: ‘ I have to say that, as a professional class, most agents are much too self-absorbent…”
But this post is not about rogers and rogerian expressions, it’s about scotts and their misuse of language. A scott will misuse language incidentally, on his or her way somewhere else.* The key difference may seem subtle, as in both cases the malapropism represents an act of aggression. The rogerian expression is a way to exert force within the herd; the goal being to establish dominance over other herd members. Unlike the scott, rogerian dominance is a re-orienting of the focus of the members of the herd, as opposed to the starkly and very intimate one-on-one domination by a scott.
So what does this say about our scottian woman? You best bet is to smile and say, ‘there is no better time than this to do whatever it is you want me to.’
* see?!! it gets under ya skin, I tells ya!
** if you said, ‘yeah 20 feet through the air, on their way for a permanent landing the neck of their unfortunate prey’…. gold star, yo.