Via a tweet that was retweeted by Ben Nuttall, I came across a recent article in the Independent “Microsoft to replace Internet Explorer with new, streamlined browser“. The article has some classic sentences that made me groan with displeasure, not least the lead:
“Codenamed Spartan, the new app will look much more like competitors Chrome and Firefox”
which completely misses the major point in that it’s not how IE looks, it’s how it behaves.
Anyway, the sentence that most caught my eye was this one:
In the past the company has considered changing the name to separate the current browser from “negative perceptions that no long reflect reality”
This very much reminds me of a passage from Douglas Adams’s Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, specifically from Episode 11:
The problem of the five hundred and seventy-eight thousand million Lintilla clones is very simple to explain, rather harder to solve. Cloning machines have, of course, been around for a long time and have proved very useful in reproducing particularly talented or attractive – in response to pressure from the Sirius Cybernetics marketing lobby – particularly gullible people and this was all very fine and splendid and only occasionally terribly confusing. And then one particular cloning machine got badly out of sync with itself. Asked to produce six copies of a wonderfully talented and attractive girl called “Lintilla” for a Bratis-Vogen escort agency, whilst another machine was busy creating five-hundred lonely business executives in order to keep the laws of supply and demand operating profitably, the machine went to work. Unfortunately, it malfunctioned in such a way that it got halfway through creating each new Lintilla before the previous one was actually completed. Which meant, quite simply, that it was impossible ever to turn it off – without committing murder. This problem taxed the minds, first of the cloning engineers, then of the priests, then of the letters page of ’The Sidereal Record Straightener’, and finally of the lawyers, who experimented vainly with ways of redefining murder, re-evaluating it, and in the end, even respelling it, in the hope that no one would notice.