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Executive discourse

February 19, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here at Banjaxed, we fly executive class so that you won’t have to.

Well, actually, our clients won’t pay for those kinds of luxuries, so we fly cattle class like the rest of ya. But I flew back from Montreal in executive class today, by the luck of the draw, having drawn a seat up there for reasons I don’t quite comprehend, and I’m here to report on that experience, at least as it relates to language: up in those first few rows, they even speak to you differently, using the rhetoric of aren’t-you-special. And people respond differently. The whole discourse is elevated.

In economy, they say, “Would you like something to drink?”

In executive class, they say, “May I offer you something to drink?”

Yes: they ask permission to ask you if you want something to drink. You’re that special.

In economy, people say, “Could I get a ginger ale, please?”

In executive class, it’s “Orange juice would be lovely,” a turn of phrase that suggests the man sitting behind me takes orange juice far, far too seriously. Or, “A glass of red wine sounds wonderful.”

You think I’m making this up, but this is why I carry a notebook. It must be the leg room, the unrestricted circulation, that makes people speak this way.

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