Thursday, 17 September 2015

Boo & Hooray (in Quotes)

Actual farmhouse

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has just announced new marketing regulations for the use of four words that can easily be misleading — “farmhouse”, “artisanal”, “traditional” and “natural”. Farmhouse can only be used where a product has actually been made on a farm. Artisanal has to mean the ingredient was made in a single location by a “micro-enterprise” that employs fewer than 10 people. (

Hate the term 'appropriate'. Sanctimonious, managerial, snooty. (Eileen Reid ‏@SwankieSister)

Efficiency gains – does that mean “cuts”? (Bill Turnbull interviewing NHS spokesbod)

In some respects, there has been little progress on the battlefield in the literacy wars, neither side giving way, but the language describing the opposing camps has changed. Advocates of a ‘whole language’ approach rarely describe their position in these terms these days, redolent though it sounded of all things good and natural. Like a sort of literacy muesli, you could feel it building up your moral superiority... The term ‘balanced’ also had the added benefit of ‘getting your retaliation in first’ by its implication that those favouring an emphasis on phonics instruction are clearly not balanced - ‘unbalanced’ in fact. (Kevin Wheldall Its proponents now call it “balanced literacy”. "Whole language" has suffered pejoration creep.)

There are also a lot of people referred to as “sensitive guests,” which I’m pretty sure means “total jerks”. (Joel Stein in Time on concierging the super-rich, March 2015)

Here is your regular reminder that "detainee" is usually a propaganda euphemism for "prisoner". You're welcome! (@stevenpoole)

Britain calls the fence it put up in Calais to keep out migrants a "National Barrier Asset". (Daniel Trilling ‏@trillingual)

‏If the AA automatic voice on the phone tells me one more time that I am in a high priority queue (ie a queue) I shall explode. (@wmarybeard)

La insensibilidad y la imparcialidad, son nombres pomposos para la indiferencia, que es un nombre elegante para la ignorancia. (Terry Lopez ‏@terry_jb "Insensibility and impartiality are pompous names for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance.")

Hackney council is currently refreshing its markets strategy – I don’t know what this means, but it seems to involve refusing licences to traders in Dalston Waste.

In Lebanon we kept calling the civil war 'the incidents' for about 14 years. In the last year we were like 'yeah it's a war actually'. (Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks)

Contrary 2 #r4today fantasy: The Telegraph did NOT 'over-interpret' the Scot Office memo, it misreported it to suit its own political agenda. (‏@FredLitten)

[At a large book-selling chain] they called disciplinary action "Individual Performance Improvement". (@Lord_Steerforth )

Noah, Dan'el and Job are the three most righteous men in biblical legend. 'Righteous' there means unquestioningly obedient #theark. (F Stavrakopoulou ‏@ProfFrancesca)

‏‏Pretty Ambitious: Euphemism, [stuff] I wouldn't order if my life depended on it #masterchef (neil warner ‏@wooliferkins)

[If you reduce sugar] you will reach a point where consumer acceptability drops. (Industry spokesbod He means you will reach a point where consumers stop buying your product.)

Sepp Blatter: Fifa faces “a long and difficult road to rebuilding trust”.

What (without God) is “sacred”? (Matthew Parrish, Times Unless it means “taboo” or “untouchable”.)


Educational buzzwords: "sage on the stage" (boo!), "guide on the side" (yay!). (Neal Whitman ‏@LiteralMinded)

When it's Egypt, it an "Arab Spring" for democracy led by brave young freedom fighters. In Baltimore, it's ruthless thugs. OK. (mervyn marcano ‏@britrican, April 2015)

Why is Clegg "brave" for propping up the Tories but Sturgeon is "evil" propping up Labour? (JP Janson De Couet ‏@ostercywriter)

B and B owner: You’re turning me into some kind of hard-nosed businesswoman!
Alex Polizzi: We have to face financial realities.
(The Hotel Inspector Overstretched owner says she is “thinking big”, and that pointing out revolting toilets, moss-grown caravans and dead flies is “putting me in a box”.)

Nigel Farage: We want an honest referendum, not a stitch-up! (We want people to vote to leave the EU.)

This isn’t mindless graffiti, this is art. (BBC News)

Throwing a racket, brat. Debating the rules, disrespectful. Frustrated when competing, spoilt. Showing emotion, arrogant. (Tennis player Nick Kyrgios responding to criticism that escalated to racism)

You 'post', but your critics 'attack'. ( ‏@Brimshack)

From Twitter:

Being called 'intimidating' for having interests and high aspirations #everydaysexism.

Please, do tell those assholes that the word is "interesting" instead.

Story of my life!!!!

Tale as old as time ;) Happened to most women I know. Apparently it doesn't take much to intimidate men.

My personal favourite is that boys are "confident" while girls are "feisty".

"I'm not sectarian, it's the other sect that is sectarian." Running Middle East theme. (Karl Sharro ‏@KarlreMarks)

Warsaw's brutalist buildings, dutifully recreated in paper. (Wired Perhaps they think it means “carefully” or “painstakingly”. Or perhaps they are hinting that it was all a waste of time.)

Prince Charles's PR woman! Coiffed hair, pearls, handbag and a mandate to body block Michael Crick. (‏@LOS_Fisher There’s always something pejorative about coiffed or coiffure. Her hair is in an untidy ponytail.)

This is what people say when their fave is losing to Serena: "A titanic tussle, somewhat marred by the charmless and rather unsporting antics of Ms Williams." (Brienne of Snarth ‏@femme_esq)

Higher education is stuffed with overpaid administrators... (Guardian I get the impression the writer doesn’t like them much.)

The corridors of our universities are stalked by soft-footed technocrats. (Guardian March 2015 The money men may be despicable, but do they all wear Hush Puppies?)

Over-thinking makes your mind create negative scenarios and replay painful memories. (@madfactz So it doesn’t mean “thinking too much” or “working out a solution”?)

A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist. (Yes, Minister)
Strong-willed women tend to come off as cold or mean simply because they refuse to be taken for granted and/or mistreated. (@madfactz)

Lots more euphemisms and dysphemisms in my mini ebook Boo and Hooray – see sidebar.

More here, and links to the rest.

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