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Encrapification: My vote for word of the year, even though it’s only February

David Eby

David Eby. (Picture courtesy of BC NDP. CC BY 2.0 Deed. Cropped.)

The frustration of David Eby, premier of British Columbia, was palpable in his “2½-minute tirade” on Thursday (8 February 2024) against BCE Inc., parent company of Bell Media and therefore CTV News and all of its many holdings. But it was his invention of the word “encrapification” that stole the show for me. My web search for the word turned up the above CBC report as the first search result on Friday.

The great thing about the English language is that it is constantly evolving, and that it has building blocks to create words like this. I can’t speak for other languages, of course; I’ve studied several over the years, for which I’m grateful (especially Latin), but besides English there’s only one other (French) that I can say I could speak reasonably well in a pinch, but I don’t know it well enough to invent words in this way.

But Eby is completely right. I used to be all in favour of companies like BCE doing whatever they reasonably could to make more and more money but, as we’ve seen over the years with the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft (remember them?!), Amazon, etc., real people are hurt when companies become too big to care about both the people they employ and the people to whom they sell their products and services. I don’t imagine that the CEO of BCE woke up one day and decided to gut the media landscape in Canada, but he has. Eby’s characterisation of what BCE has done reminds me of what Canada Post did on a much smaller scale years ago: When I left college I expected to be quite movious — another great addition to the English language courtesy of Zambian English meaning to move around a lot — and so I rented a post office box. I rented it at the Vancouver International Airport because, working in the aviation business, I expected to be there often and so it would be convenient to be able to collect my mail there when I happened to be at that airport. It was going to become my “permanent” address.

Canada Post had other ideas, of course. They stopped renting new mail boxes at the “Airport Postal Outlet” (as it was known) and then, in a remarkable turns of events that nobody without an MBA could ever have predicted, they then claimed that there was not enough mail going there to support the existence of said outlet! Despite my attempts to “Save the APO“, it was taken away, and thus began my never-ending quest to set up new “permanent addresses”. What a gong show. I have had no fewer than seven “permanent addresses” in thirty-three years, when really, I should have had ONE!

BCE/Bell logos

A few random logos of the involved entities. Trademarks of the respective corporations.

Anyway, back to BCE. The day after Eby made headlines there was another politician who was evidently jealous of the attention that he wasn’t getting, so Justin Trudeau got on the horn (apologies to those of you for whom that phrase has a more lurid meaning!) and called it a “garbage decision” and said he was “pissed off”. Good effort Justin, but not nearly as cool as Eby! 🙂

At least CTV’s newly unemployed former employees will be able to count on Canadians’ thoughts and prayers for a day each year when Bell does their annual “Let’s Talk Day“. Thoughts and prayers certainly helped Lisa LaFlamme a lot when they fired her for letting her hair go grey, just as they helped me when Bell ripped me off for $11.27 for a one-minute phone call!

One Comment

  1. […] respect to my comment on Eby on Tuesday, I noted a piece in the “National Post” (apparently in the “Financial Post” […]

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