In Swedish we have the word “Ord bajsare”, I don’t know if it can be translated to English, in total translation it means word pooper or word shitter. The expression is about someone that uses a lot of nice words but in reality, has no meaning.
The most famous word poppers are of course politicians. Especially when they are creating projects that have no real function or are useless. To be able to keep these projects alive they create PDFs:s with just words that are pointless like reaching Agenda 2020, or the new metaverse. Most of the time you see this through by that they are not getting anywhere. It never tells you what the project is doing.
Like this that just came by my inbox “is creating an open and fair decentralized network to connect credible and verified promoters”. Que?
So, what you say is that you connect promoters, to be honest, you can get this sentence down to two words: connect promoters. What it all shows is that this project has no info, so they become word poopers to fill out the press release with something.
You bump into these usually like I wrote in projects in music surrounding grants or government projects. Also, a lot inside the music tech industry. My favorite one was a company that had a booth on SXSW. They were making a big fuzz that they were there. Their product was a new app to put filters on your mobile pictures. They had a whole page of text around that that they were handling out. Imagine writing a page full of text when you can summarize it down to “an app that put filters on your mobile pictures”. Of course, then I asked, but is this not what Instagram does? Suddenly I was not welcome in the booth any longer.
There is a big industry for word poopers also in another area. Writing the bio of an artist. I guess this is the Olympics in word pooping. Here you have to be able to fill a whole page with words when you can summarize it down to “X is an artist from Idaho playing country”. That is of course not that sexy. Instead, they are trying to create a whole fabric story around that artist, even if there is none. Another trick is to fill it with other unknown artists that this artist has opened up for.
I’m also in this field, writing about music is a kind of word pooping. You have all seen the reviews with many intricate formulations of how a certain song sounds. Do we really need them now when you with one click can listen to the song online and know yourself what it sounds like? No, and that is a reason why reviews are no longer there. Instead, we are word pooping small columns about the artist and their new releases.
I guess the world is a boring place without the word poopers. In many cases, though it would be much nicer to just get a short clear sentence about what it is all about. As this column is mainly “a guy grumping that he doesn’t understand a lot of text”.
Editor’s Note: Peter Åstedt has been working in the music industry for over 35 years. He has started record labels, distribution systems, and publishing companies. Peter also runs several major showcase festivals and is an advisor for INES and co-founder of MusicHelp/Discover Sensation. He has worked with the Top Ten most streamed songs and had music on both the Olympics and Super Bowl. Peter has currently taken up the seat of Station Manager of Cashbox Radio, working with MD, PD and station owner, Sandy Graham. In 2021, he worked as the European Consultant for Heal the Earth – An Earth Day Celebration. His latest venture is a new Showcase Festival in Sweden, Future Echoes futureechoes.se/. Peter is a Managing Partner and Editor of the newly launched Record World International.