‘Spoiler Alert!’ is a catch-phrase used in the arts review world, but is slowly emerging into other revelation opportunities in culture.
To those not in the know, a ‘spoiler alert’ means that some text is on the horizon which will reveal cogent details about the art subject, be it a film, TV show, play, etc. It’s particularly significant in that it is used with new events, and therefore can greatly diminish if not eradicate the element of surprise.
Perhaps we can put this concept into practical daily use…
Have ‘Spoiler Alert’ signs at retail cash registers. This way people needing the alert will have no excuse for not being prepared, once items are registered, to actually pay for the purchase.
Have ‘Spoiler Alert’ signs at publicly used entrances. It happened again yesterday; I had to squeeze around two ladies carrying on a conversation right in the middle of the doorway. Conversations are fine, just don’t have them blocking an entrance; if it takes a sign to remind the gabby of the greater good, so be it.
Here’s ‘Breaking News’ worthy of another ‘Spoiler Alert’: the eruption on certain broadcast media of the high octane phrase Breaking News for not just a newsworthy story, but for one which may well be over a day old. In the modern age of telecommunications, not to mention the current age of almost instantaneous relay of bulletins, to state that a story (albeit important) over a day old is Breaking News, to put it kindly, stretches credibility. Why is it done? From anecdotal evidence, it’s done to elongate coverage by engaging pseudo experts in discussion, hopefully dragging along ratings points and so ultimately sponsorship dollars. Therefore. I advocate that media have to tag their ‘Breaking News’ graphics with a simple ‘Spoiler Alert’ notation once a solar day has passed. People will soon catch on to the implication.
Why these kinds of approaches could work is that the phrase is still fresh enough that people will take notice of it. Not only that, many will discover the message is truly for themselves. How flattering!