Thursday, September 10, 2009

Publicitate postal completemente sin valor

(Languages of this post: Interlingua, English)

Quando veni le currero, nos forsan expecta un littera de un amico, un magazin de interlingua, un pacchetto de libros, o, al pejor caso, un factura. Ma in Anglaterra in annos recente, nos ha experientiate le accrescimento de un nove typo de material que arriva con le posta, reclamos pro omne specie de mercantias e servicios. Un firma que vole vender su productos compra un lista de adresses, e invia un pacchetto de materiales imprimite a cata adresse.

Quasi sempre le pacchettos es sin interesse o uso pro le destinatario, qui los jecta con un expression de disgusto in le corbe a papiro. In le lingua anglese nos nomina tal cosas “junk mail”. “Junk” significa cosas absolutemente inutile. Forsan iste phenomeno existe in altere paises, e in omnes representa un perdita enorme de tempore, de energia, e de materiales.

Ecce alicun junk que io ha recipite: Publicitate pro cosmeticos feminin (io es mascule), un prospecto imprimite in colores sur papiro de luxo, reclamante un systema de calefaction per gas (le 36 appartamentos in nostre edificio ha electricitate ma nulle gas), un altere prospecto de luxo, adressate al British Interlingua Society, offerente nos le uso de un magnific centro de congressos, capace de tener 3.000 delegatos. Infortunatemente, le numero de nostre membros non jam attinge 300!

Le 25 de januario, 1990, un senior anglese scribeva al jornal “Daily Telegraph” iste littera, que io traduce, un pauc abbreviate:

“Como experimento, durante 1989 io reteneva omne pecia de materiales publicitari que arrivava per le posta. Io reteneva nulle inveloppes e nulle jornales gratuite. Le immense majoritate es materiales adressate a me per nomine.

“Un computo revela le statisticas sequente: 104 catalogos; 76 communicationes ab mi banca; 47 ab companias de assecurantia; 38 questas de organisationes de caritate; 18 reclamos de automobiles (io es stropiate e non pote conducer un auto); offertas de prender parte in competitiones con premios al valor total de 1.883.500 libras sterling, plus 467 varie cosas non classificabile, inclusive de offertas ‘gratis’ e inveloppes pro responsas.

“In summa, io habeva un total de 778 articulos imprimite (ex le quales 104 es in veritate spisse catalogos), con un peso total de circa 40 kilogrammas.

“Tote istos ha arrivate per le posta a un parve appartamento. Io crede que il ha circa 12 milliones de menages in Grande Britannia. Le summa total de publicitate non desirate que arriva a iste adresses es tanto stupefaciente que illo excede mi poteres de calculation, sin pensar a simile cosas in altere paises. In un tempore quando on nos exhorta a prender cura del ambiente, economisar le ressources del terra, e evitar polluer le stratas per cosas residual, nos pote certo qualificar como excessive iste accumulation de papiralias.

“Io non desira iste montania de papiro. Io non lo demandava. Le currero non vole assortir e portar lo. Le levatores de immunditias non vole remover lo. Le firmas que reutilisa papiro usate ha jam troppo de illo. Le amicos del natura non vole le destruction del arbores. Le terra, le rivieras, e le mar non vole le addition del substantias chimic usate in le manufactura de illo. E le gases que caleface le atmosphera non require augmentation per le anhydrido carbonic producite per le manufactura, distribution, e disposition final de toto isto!”

(Per Brian Sexton, publicate in “Panorama”, No 3, maio-junio 1990, republicate in “Interlingua in interlingua”)


When the mail comes, we perhaps expect a letter from a friend, an Interlingua magazine, a package with books, or, in the worst case, a bill. But in England in recent years, we have experienced the growth of a new type of material that arrives with the mail, advertisements for all kinds of merchandise and services. A firm that wants to sell its products buys a list of addresses and mails a packet of printed materials to each address.

Almost always the packets are of no interest or use for the addressee, who throws them away with disgust in a waste basket. In English we call such things “junk mail.” “Junk” means things that are absolutely useless. Perhaps this phenomenon exists in other countries, and in all of them it represents an enormous loss of energy and material.

Here is some junk that I have received: Advertisements for women’s cosmetics (I am a man), an offer printed in color on de-luxe paper advertising a system of gas heating (the thirty-six apartments in our building have electricity, but no gas), another de-luxe advertisement, addressed to the British Interlingua Society, offering us the use of a magnificent convention center capable of holding 3,000 delegates. Unfortunately, the number of our members has not yet reached 300.

On January 25, 1990, an English gentleman wrote to the “Daily Telegraph” this letter, which I am translating and abbreviating a little:

“As an experiment, during 1989 I kept all the advertisements that came to me through the mail. I kept no envelopes and no free newspapers. By far, most of it is stuff addressed to me with my name.

“A count revealed the following statistics: 104 catalogues; 76 communications from my bank; 47 from insurance companies; 38 requests from charity organizations; 18 advertisements for automobiles (I am crippled and cannot drive a car); offers to take part in competitions with prizes worth a total of 1,883,500 pounds sterling, plus 467 various unclassifiable things, including ‘free’ offers and return envelopes.

“All together I had a total of 778 printed articles (of which 104 are really thick catalogues), with a total weight of 40 kilograms (88 pounds).

“All this arrived by mail to a small apartment. I believe that there are around 12 million households in Great Britain. The sum total of unsolicited publicity that arrives at these addresses is so stupefying that it exceeds my powers of calculation, without thinking of similar things in other countries. At a time when we are heavily encouraged to take care of the environment, economize on the earth’s resources, and avoid throwing litter into the streets, we can certainly qualify as excessive this accumulation of paper junk.

“I don’t want this mountain of paper. I did not ask for it. The mailman does not want to sort and carry it. The garbage men don’t want to remove it. The firms that recycle paper already have too much of it. The friends of nature don’t want the destruction of trees. The earth, the rivers, and the sea don’t want the addition of chemical substances used in the manufacture of this stuff. And the gases that are heating up the atmosphere do not need more carbon dioxide produced by the manufacture, distribution, and final disposal of all this!”

(By Brian Sexton, published in “Panorama,” No. 3, May-June, 1990, republished in “Interlingua in interlingua”)

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