Marketing at the Limits of Language

It’s a strange kind of language, all modifiers bleached lifeless by cliché, employing the most grandiose terms (‘discover,’ ‘transformational,’ ‘revolution’) to describe what tends to be a new way of doing paperwork, spinning precariously on the edge of meaninglessness, but it’s still language. But what about the firm calling itself (for unknown and possibly unpleasant reasons) Kwanko, announcing simply that “data is the new performance?” Or Lapa, which claims without any other information to be “transforming the way people search and protect all the things they can’t live without?” Or CrowdT, a “crowdfunding platform using apparel to raise funds?” This isn’t meaning, in any of its usual senses, something that exists to be understood, but the zombie signifier, words building and feeding on each other to form a system terrifyingly self-sustaining and utterly opaque.


Sam Kriss sees the vanishing point of both language and the human subject at Web Summit, Europe's largest tech conference. From what he sees, soon we will cease being people; we'll be little more than end users.

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