Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Inventing Words to Sell Travel

Okay, I've had it with the made up words. Travel is travel. A vacation is a vacation, whether you go alone, with friends or with family, whether you travel to an environmentally friendly green destination or not.

Man-cation. What's that? A vacation only for men? Says who? Who invented this meaningless phrase? More importantly -- WHY? And why can't it be spelled the same way twice? Man-cation with a dash or mancation without?

The female version of 'man-cation' is not 'girl-cation'. It's girlfriend's getaway. Yes, I absolutely want my girlfriends to getaway. From what? From me? Or from the people making up silly travel promotions and words.

Stay-cation, or as it is spelled sometimes, staycation without the dash. Please tell me what this means so I can tell poor Noah Webster to stop spinning in his grave. Of course I stay somewhere when I go on vacation. Even if I stay at home to rearrange the furniture on my vacation, I'm staying somewhere. So what does this nonsense phrase mean? And why are there are marketing efforts to boycott the stay-cation? If we don't know what a stay-cation is, how can we boycott it?

Waiter, please bring me a mocktail. That's what the well-regarded Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, is offering as part of its summer 'family fun' package. Grown-ups get fluffy terry robes, and the kiddies get "mocktails", whatever those are. Fruit juice, you think? Maybe what makes them a 'mocktail' instead of a glass of orange juice is that they decorate the glass with a silly little paper umbrella. Or, since it's Ireland, that should be a miniature Leprechaun.

The last straw? A shape-cation. This is a package from New York City's Carlton Hotel. It's a bridal package -- including room, spa treatments, a gift yoga mat, and a private session with a bridal lingerie consultant. I understand that you need a license before you can get married -- but a 'shape-cation'?

What's next? How about a man-shape-cation? Or a girlfriend getastay-cation? It will take more than one mocktail to get me on one of those.

Omigosh, I'm starting to sound like the late, great and will be much missed George Carlin.