It is a simple equation: the more languages you use to offer
your product or service, the greater the number of your potential customers.
This is why most Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) offer a
choice of major languages. In areas where there is a significant minority
language – like Welsh – customers are usually offered the option of being
served in that language.
However, it is doubtful whether a hitherto obscure ATM company
called Bank Machine are really trying to serve a minority culture by offering
customers in East London the option of being served in Cockney Rhyming Slang.
There is a tradition in the East End of replacing a word
with a short expression with which it rhymes – for example, “neck” becomes
“Gregory Peck”. This expression is then shortened in turn, so that “a pain in
the neck” becomes a “pain in the Gregory”.
Though Rhyming Slang remains in common usage, much of it
these days is strictly for tourists. And the typical Cockney caricature has
never been realistic.
Bank Machine’s objective is simply to attract publicity –
and the fact that they have been mentioned in places like this blog, which
would otherwise have ignored them, shows they have succeeded brilliantly.
However, it should be noted that those who are lured into
using Bank Machine ATMs by the fact that the gimmick Cockney machines do not
levy a fee may be disappointed when they discover that most Bank Machine ATMs
are quite expensive to use.
They might conclude that Bank Machine are a bunch of