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About me

The ‘rip-off’ craze


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

How, when, and why has the phrase ‘rip-off’ managed to enter common lexis? A decade ago, only the seedier tabloids would dared have printed a headline with this kind of slang. But within the last few years, the Daily Mail has picked up ‘rip-off’ and run with it, creating the whole image of a ‘rip-off Britain’.

Today, however, the phrase seems to have gone one step further – and one-step too far in my opinion. The Independent today includes the headline:

Banks accused of rip-off charges for holidaymakers

That’s a broadsheet newspaper printing clich├ęd slang-laden headlines. Even the story’s pretty old: If you don’t know by now that the banks will try and over-charge you in every conceivable situation – especially when you’re doing something different like going on holiday – then you’re rather slower than the rest of us.

Understandably shocked by this development, I hurried off to check the Guardian and Times style guides. The latter says it is to be avoided, the former hasn’t stooped to including the phrase yet.

It seems the British broadsheet culture still has a pulse… though even I’ll admit that it’s fading fast.

This 682nd post was filed under: Media.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2018)

TV I’ve been watching lately (published 9th January 2018)

MediaGuardian ‘Worse than the Sunday Sport’ (published 17th June 2005)

Conservatives plan to scrap ID Cards (published 6th February 2007)

Do Americans believe in God? (published 13th April 2006)

Apocalyptic shopping malls (published 29th August 2014)

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