Promotion, inversion and lessons learned from Springsteen

What a strange and unnerving beast promotion is. Obviously, it’s an essential part of getting this thing off the ground, no matter how awkward I find it (and that’s pretty awkward). But why not do it with some self-deprecating humour?

The Springsteen fans among you will know the story of how horrified he was by the promotion leading up to Bruce and the E Street Band’s first concerts outside of the U.S. Such was his anger at the «London is finally ready for…» hype that he stormed through the venue tearing up the promotional flyers only to realise that you can’t fight this beast or do without it either so you might as well accept it.

And the grammar fans among you might know, or like to know, how we can use ‘so’ or ‘such’ with the verb ‘be’ for dramatic effect (like showtime at the Hammersmith Odeon 1975) or special emphasis. All you need to do is put ‘so’ before your adjective and then invert the subject and whatever form of the verb ‘be’ you’re using – the word order of a question in other words. And you can do something similar with ‘such’ + inversion + noun (see the angry Bruce example above).

The grammar of inversion is always a bit strange the first time you encounter it. The way you feel about it may well be the same as the way I feel about promotion. But hey, it’s there so we might as well use it.

So great was the performance of opening song ‘Thunder Road’ that all the hype was forgotten in a heartbeat.

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