Terms and Conditions
Ian McMillan presents the cabaret of the word, examining the world of 'terms and conditions'. With composer Kerry Andrew, techno-linguist Tom Chatfield and novelist Nick Harkaway.
The Cabaret of the Word examines 'Terms and Conditions' with guests Kerry Andrew, Tom Chatfield and Nick Harkaway.
The composer Kerry Andrew has previously performed on The Verb as 'You Are Wolf'. She returns the the programme to launch our 'Terms & Conditions' series with a specially composed song on the theme. Kerry performs alongside the other members of her vocal ensemble 'Juice', Sarah Dacey and Anna Snow.
Tom Chatfield is the Verb's Techno-linguist and he's here to explain what lurks behind the Terms & Conditions online. What are we missing when we tick a box and don't read the text? Tom Chatfield is the author of 'Netymology'.
The novelist Nick Harkaway discusses his latest novel, 'Tigerman', set on the fictional island of Mancreu.
Kerry Andrew with Juice
The musician and composer Kerry Andrew has previously performed on The Verb under the name ‘You are Wolf’. She is back with a new commission created for our ‘Terms and Conditions’ special, which finds poetry in the language of contracts. Kerry explains how she used a word cloud (wordle) to create a ‘graphic score’ for the piece, and says that she was particularly attracted to words with a double meaning. Kerry performs alongside Anna Snow and Sarah Dacey, the other members of the vocal ensemble ‘Juice’.
Nick Harkaway is the author of ‘The Blind Giant: Being Human in a Digital World’. He explains why we should be sceptical about the use of the word ‘free’ when we see it on-line, and explores the relationship of the British to the idea of ‘subtext’. Nick Harkaway’s new novel is ‘Tigerman’ (Heinemann). Especially for The Verb, Nick has written a spin-off piece of fiction inspired by ‘Tigerman’ and the language of ‘Terms and Conditions’.
Jo Tall from ‘Off To See My Lawyer’ drafts Terms and Conditions for entrepreneurs and small businesses. For Jo, the first battle is convincing people that they need Terms and Conditions at all; she likens not having them to ‘building a house on sand’. When she is writing ‘Terms and Conditions’ she strives to simplify language whilst leaving no room for ambiguity.
The Verb’s techno-linguistics guru, Tom Chatfield, guides us through the digital world, where we increasingly encounter ‘Terms and Conditions’, or ‘End User License Agreements’. How do we navigate a space where we are increasingly service users rather than citizens? Tom Chatfield’s book ‘Netymology’ is published by Quercus.