Each time I go back to the UK, I'm particularly sensitive to the latest trends in brands and communications in a way that I wouldn't be if I lived there the whole time.
On my latest visit, I noticed what an epidemic of possessive pronouns is spreading in brand communications, rather like an unstoppable rash of playground capitalism.
There was a time when the only brand names to incorporate possessive pronouns were toys for spoiled darlings, like My Little Pony, but it now seems that the whole brand world is divided into My and Your.
I can't be the only person who sometimes feels that "My Pictures" "My This" and "My That" every time I turn on the computer is just an ickle bit babyish, can I?
Now I know that there are good reasons for all this: in this virtual world, it's nice to be able to claim something as "My Space"...and I know that I have praised brands like My Muesli on this blog for their custom-made individuality. And of course I believe that brands "belong" to the people that use them and make them their own, anyway. But do we have to be reminded of this with all these twee names?
Retailers and services are particularly prone to this: Your M&S probably started it off in the UK. But, interestingly, while it's all "Your" when they are talking in general, the products suddenly become repossessed when they want to show off a bit: "OUR cashmere sweaters can be washed at freezing point so WE don't contribute to global warming". And what about all those banks that seem to forget that they are playing around with MY money?