Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Talking Back to "My Talk"

Billboard for My Talk 107.1

Another billboard for My Talk 107.1

My Talk 107.1 logo from the website

107.1 is a Twin Cities radio station that has consciously cultivated a middle-aged female audience. It recently rebranded itself as "My Talk 107.1."

This usage of "my" has bugged me for some time now. I first noticed it in the web address "mysap.com," which was regularly intoned during the sponsorship listings on NPR a decade or so ago. The advent of MySpace reinforced my dislike. (Although I have to admit I've never been fond of the name Facebook, either, for different reasons.)

I'm not completely sure why it gets under my skin the way it does. In a web context, it's clear shorthand for denoting a personalized version of a site. But that doesn't help me overcome my antipathy. Maybe it's because it seems like an attempt to make a virtue out of the worst aspect of toddlerhood.

Even worse than the My Talk name is the accompanying text: "my pop culture, my gossip, my radio station." Because, you know, women couldn't possibly be interested in somebody else's pop culture or gossip. Despite the fact that it's all mass-produced junk from the celebrity machine.

Update: I just finished reading a terrific post on The Bike Garden on the subject of "me-ness," in which Susan Tomlinson writes: "By the way, have you ever noticed how close the spelling of 'me-ness' is to 'meanness?' Again, just sayin'."


elena said...

Good call on the toddler dimension of the name. iVillage seems to have died away: maybe these gendered chat places are going the way of MySpace? I must confess (here's "me" again), I'm not fond of the name of the radio program on our public station here in Bloomington, Indiana: "Just you and me" either..

Feel a deep aversion to the name Yahoo, and no amount of money will bring it to life – hate all aspects of AOL...interesting how deeply these monikers penetrate into the me me me of our media experience.

Michael Leddy said...

Yes, good call.

"Your" is ruined too, as in "Your news starts now."

Ms Sparrow said...

I think your observations fall under the same category as all those commercials that insist, "you deserve...". Egos Rule!

Daughter Number Three said...

I wonder if the my / me / your / you deserve verbiage is actually effective with the intended audience.