Letter: The fare flexibility digital experience

Tuesday, March 1 2016

Dear Editor: 

The story of the development of the English language is a fascinating one. Its origins are shrouded in the mysteries of antiquity. Spoken by Anglo Saxon people it changed and evolved as a result of visits from Roman legions, Germanic tribes and mercenaries, Vikings and Normans to blossom into the lingua franca of the world. The research into the spread of its dialects and the creation of specialty languages used by lawyers, politicians, diplomats and others can be a rewarding endeavour all on its own. 

Not even the destructive influence of political correctness has succeeded in arresting the relentless journey of the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare as demonstrated just recently by the arrival of “Ferryspeak,” a language created by the Ferry Corporation to share its latest hair-brained ideas, such as onboard casinos and the like with its captive audience. 

The sheer eloquence and capacity to obfuscate through the use of Ferryspeak can be demonstrated by just a few examples: 

“Privatization” - Legal fiction permitting a Crown Corporation responsible for a government monopoly essential service to operate in the shadows without the constraints of transparency and accountability while at the same time allowing a government to offload a substantial portion of its debt giving the appearance of balanced budgets and enhancing its image as good stewards of the public purse. 

“Unscheduled Departure” - When a vessel presumed to have been safely secured comes adrift under mysterious and unexplained circumstances during the process of loading. 

“The Fare Flexibility Digital Experience” - Scheme to increase overall revenue, sometimes described as “price gouging” or “screwing the public.” 

“Today’s Savings” - Wording that appears on your ferry receipt and a cynical and cruel attempt to create the illusion that you are getting a good deal. Akin to having salt rubbed in your wounds by someone who is laughing at you.

Surely the pinheaded twits in Victoria must know that in the real world of travel on minor routes many commuters and others in need of leaving the island do not have the luxury of selecting the time they must travel, leaving us with the inescapable conclusion that what we are dealing with is just another money grab. 

All aboard!

~ Luke van der Horst