Try using the phone next time

PUBLISHED : Friday, 08 December, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 08 December, 2000, 12:00am

It was another day of seamless communication at the world's largest communications conference.

Regular readers will recall that there's been a slight problem with mainland speakers vanishing or failing to show up.

Wednesday saw organisers complaining about the speakers who didn't speak.

Yesterday, speechless speakers struck back by complaining about the organisers.

Both the chairman and the CEO of were supposed to be giving talks yesterday and today.

But neither of them could make it. What happened?

Not our fault, said the Nasdaq-listed Chinese Internet portal.

The International Telecommunications Union sent us an invite months ago. When we ignored them, they somehow took it as a yes.

Lai See has noticed a similar phenomenon among drunk men who invite her to sleep with them.

Apparently, the Sina chairman never even saw the invite, and had no idea he'd ever been scheduled to appear.

Those telecommunications people really ought to try using the telephone.

Santa's been retired: The festive season is upon us, and the building owners of Central are caught up in the spirit of giving.

Their Yuletide light displays are a treat for us all.

They brighten up our city with images of Santa and messages of cheer.

Messages like 'Merry Christmas', 'Noel', 'Season's Greetings' and 'MPF'.

Um, hang on a sec. What was that last one again?

Yes, at Hong Kong Bank, Santa Claus has been made redundant.

Because this year, December isn't the season of peace and goodwill towards men.

It's the season of getting people to sign up for retirement schemes. The bankers are obviously hoping to lure latecomers with their magically twinkling retirement fund Christmas display.

Fa la la la-la.

Lai See thinks those letters have a more appropriate meaning.

Perhaps Money Precedes Festivals.

Finally, the last word: Lai See has been engaged in the act of contemplating the various facets of the multi-faceted issue of excessive verbosity, arising in both verbal and non-verbal forms of communication, and the potentiality for the consequent creation of a non-comprehension situation.

Translation: we've been thinking how confusing things get when people use too many words.

England's Plain English Campaign got us onto that one. They just doled out their annual batch of prizes, naming a record 11 gobbledygook winners.

The independent organisation, which tries to cut through a forest of verbiage, pointed the finger of blame at lawyers and financial companies as the worst offenders, says a Reuters report.

Britain's Luton Education Authority took a prize for calling children's go-karting lessons 'a multi-agency project catering for holistic diversionary provision to young people for positive action'.

Tonbridge Borough Council was mocked for calling a tree preservation order 'a copy whereof together with the map included therein is enclosed herewith.'

But Brits aren't the only purveyors of tripe.

The 'Foot in Mouth' bafflement award went to Hollywood star Alicia Silverstone, who came out with this: 'I think that the film Clueless was very deep. I think it was deep in the way that it was very light. I think lightness has to come from a very deep place if it's true lightness.'

Graphic: whee08gbz