Archive | May, 2013

Euphemisms: 2

14 May

Euphemisms: 2.

Euphemisms: 2

14 May

Nick Cohen castigated Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in an excellent piece in Sunday’s Observer. He pointed out that, according to the UK Statistics Authority, the figures IDS had used to support his assertion that “his department’s cap on benefits was turning scroungers into strivers” were wrong.

Cohen concluded his piece: “When pressed [the Conservatives] say that they want to ‘flag up’ their support of marriage, ‘signal’ their dislike of scroungers or ‘send a message’ to immigrants. Our language has been so corrupted by the euphemisms of advertising and public relations that we no longer realise that what they mean is that they intend to lie.”

And therein lies the problem with euphemisms. They enable lies to be made palatable by couching them in imprecise language.

Today’s picture

Well it’s raining hard – again – today (was last weekend our summer?) I went for a walk in Hyde Park again on Sunday morning. I don’t know what sort of ducks these are, but they are very beautiful and there are a lot of them on the Serpentine.

Image

Advertisement

Antediluvian Michael Gove

13 May

Antediluvian Michael Gove.

Who writes this rubbish: 2?

2 May

Who writes this rubbish: 2?.

Who writes this rubbish: 2?

2 May

I went to Colchester on a Greater Anglia train yesterday. A sign at Liverpool Street station reads:

“Customers are advised not to leave luggage unattended at any time – items left unattended may cause unnecessary security alerts and may be subject to removal by staff or police.”

The sign, and the type, were small.

In addition to the fact that I hate being called a customer, rather than a passenger, the type could have been much bigger and easier to read if it had been more concise. For example:

“Passengers please note: for security reasons, luggage left unattended could be removed by staff or the police.”

When I got back to the station later in the day, two men standing on the platform were wearing uniforms that had “Train presentation” written on the back. Since they were carrying buckets, brushes, etc, I assumed they were not about to present the train to me, but were going to clean it.

Today’s picture

I’ve been sorting out and scanning old family photographs. This, believe it or not, is my Dad – in 1902.

Image