Monday, 12 October 2015

Whisper its name with shame

When people type with the caps lock on, we call it shouting. Shouting's not recommended by any reputable style guide - inappropriate caps make people think you're rude, dodgy (scammers who want to draw your attention to their too-good-to-be-true pitches love emphasis caps), or mad (so do the sort of people who get excited by the idea that they've uncovered the SHOCKING TRUTH about the Knights Templar / Illuminati / Jewish world conspiracy / moon landing hoax / lizard people from Alpha Draconis).

But what do you call it when people decide to use lower case for something which clearly should be in caps, like a set of initials? Whispering, I guess. And that's exactly what our old friends at the Royal Bank of Scotland have been doing:
The bank hopes to partly repair its tarnished image by giving its corporate acronym a lower-case makeover by axing the bold RBS logo and replacing it with the more modest rbs.
I almost approve of this - it's as if they've been reduced to a guilty whisper by the crushing shame of what they've done - and they damn well ought to be ashamed. But I suspect that it's less genuine contrition than an attempt to fool the public by photoshopping the bank's past misdeeds out of history, as the deliberate deployment of the NatWest brand fig leaf suggests:
The NatWest name will also become more prominent in England and Wales under the proposals which are expected to see the scaled-back investment banking division rebadged as RBS Markets.
Not quite as sorry as they should be, then.

Although isn't diminishing the 'r' in 'royal' some kind of unforgivable insult, rather like failing to immediately drop everything at the first opportunity to genuflect before the divine radiance of our our anointed monarch? Isn't it about time her Maj locked the whole RBS rbs board up in the Tower of London for this shocking act of lèse-majesté? Then they really would be sorry.