Monday 31 January 2011

More Euphemisms

Andy Irons was a “flamboyant and mercurial surfer who won three world titles and was regarded as the best of his generation. There was a classic malcontent, rebel-without-a-cause side to him and he admitted to "inner demons" and a self-destructive streak.” Independent 2010 (Drink, drugs.)
dark side = drinks heavily
off the rails wild child wild man of rock
Lots more alcoholic euphemisms in my ebook:
Boo and Hooray: Dysphemisms and Euphemisms

regeneration is the new "development". It doesn't mean restoration, it means knocking down nice stuff and building crap stuff, as usual.
Pathfinder = slum clearance (@HughPearman)
what we need in our streets = gentrification, obviously @owenhatherley commenting on the Stirling Prize for architecture

You have your nose “thinned”, never shortened.

Family Research Council, Focus on the Family US organisations against gay marriage Republican mouthpiece

Per Libby Purves: strong = thug, inventive = corrupt, idiosyncratic = unstable, charming = inadequate.

The antiquities market is incredibly strong at the moment. = antiquities are fetching high prices
a purchase made “on finance” = you borrow the money and have to pay interest
hard-working families = taxpayers
reform cuts
restructuring = restructuring funding

"... we live in a media environment which is one of the worst in the democratic world. The media observe policy differences and call it a split; they observe policy discussions and call it a row; they observe compromises and call it a betrayal; they observe trade-offs and call it broken promises; they observe a refusal to agree with consultation responses and call it ideological stubbornness; they observe changes as a result of consultation and call it a U-turn; and if they do not see any of these things they invent them." Lord Greaves, Jan 20 2011
modernisation of NHS = Privatisation of NHS. @sezohanim
polemical = left wing polemic
outspoken and controversial = liberal and inclusive (Daily Telegraph obit of the Rev Colin Slee 25 Nov 2010)

all people of good will - Catholic euphemism for non-Christians
Judeo-Christian moral views anti-gay marriage

crazy I looked Fred up on YouTube, and I was like, ‘Oh my God! He’s, er, crazy!’ ” Crazy, of course, is a euphemism for wildly annoying... Pixie Lott in the Times, Dec 2010
unusual I can recall several editors mentioning to me early on that wrongness was an “unusual” topic for a first book. A year or so into the project it finally dawned on me that by “unusual” they meant “insane”. Kathryn Schulze in G 27/11/10
I don't expect the sack, says Carlo Ancelotti, for which read, "I will be sacked soon." @franosch

challenging terrifying
concordant patient compliant patient
creative industry advertising
creatives people who work in advertising
difficult/strong character = bully
embayment (of Norfolk coast) flooding
emotive, emotional = emotions that lead people to do or think the wrong things.
establish clear boundaries = establish clear boundaries for acceptable behaviour, ie tell people they can’t go on being nasty to you
exercise poor judgement/make bad choices American for “go off the rails” – drink, take drugs, get pregnant at 14
forceful style, feisty abusive, angry outbursts
language swearing, obscenity (a film may be flagged “contains mild language”, ie mild swearing)
lash out meek, mild person loses it after putting up with years of bullying. They then become the problem.
learning differences learning difficulties
micromanage boss
other cultures right-wingers such as the CSU’s Horst Seehofer want to stop all immigration from “other cultures” – code for Turks and Arabs
regret cancel (There can be no substitutions for guests who regret.)
revisit for reconsider (we shall revisit that decision)
save the planet = save humanity
security firm bodyguards and spies
stand by (your husband) = put up with his infidelities
strong language swearing, obscenity
teem/teemed with = abounded in people we don’t wish to mix with
thick, heavy accent accent with associations we don't like (we neither approve or disapprove of a "strong" accent)
variety meats = offal (sweetbreads = testicles, pig’s fry = testicles)
views are becoming polarised = people are going to start being rude to each other if they haven't already
We landscaped the garden completely = we removed all the plants and trees and replaced them with paving, gravel, paths and steps
You're taking this much too seriously = You've taken what I said to its logical conclusion and made me look absurd/I am losing the argument.

More euphemisms here, and links to the rest.

Church Noticeboards

Are you following the Maker’s instructions?
Beware of the dogma.
Carpenter from Nazareth seeks joiners.
CH..CH – what’s missing? UR
Come in for a faith lift.
Don’t let worries kill you – let the church help.
Get a life.
Get right or get left.
Keep taking the Tablets.
Moses was once a basket case.
Read the Bible – it will scare the hell out of you.
Seven days without prayer makes one weak.
Souled out.
The Ten Commandments are not multiple choice.
Thou shalt not walk on the grass.
Trespassers will be forgiven.
Under the same management over 2,000 years.
When you can't sleep, don't count sheep, talk to the shepherd.
Wireless access to God with no roaming fee.
Yes, we're open on Sundays.

Church Noticeboards Part II

Corny old religious jokes here.

Sunday 30 January 2011

Jobs You Didn't Know Existed 2

Now in mini e-book form:

Beat Generation scholar "My favorite of the bunch is Regina Weinreich, who is identified as a 'Beat generation scholar'. While it’s no secret that the academic racketeers can turn just about anything into a “discipline,” Weinreich’s job description struck me as particularly delicious. Here is a woman who was canny enough to hitch her professional wagon to the Beat caravan more than 20 years ago."

canine behaviour adviser

converter of cupboards
under stairs into groovy secret rooms behind bookcases

costumed vigilante

Curator of Human Osteology

dealer in saint’s relics (and reliquaries) (or other arcane antiques)

deviser of fox-repellent technology

dog rehomer

edit, critique, rewrite, ghostwrite
people’s novels, clean up MSS for aspiring novel writers

Find out who left a trust fund and a Georgian townhouse/country mansion for the continuation of some batty little society (electoral reform, psychic research, Ouspenskyism) and apply for the job of managing director, librarian etc.

forensic podiatrist


leader of guided fossil hunts

lip-reader of news footage

maker of bondage suits and equipment

manager of Twitter and Facebook accounts for people who are too middle class to have their own. As part of the professional Twitter service, gain followers and follow yourself in different guises.

protest movement mole He decided to remain undercover in Nottingham, working for a private security firm paid to gather intelligence on protest movements for energy companies (Mark Kennedy/Stone)

race track designer

real-life game creator
Brock Enright creates "reality adventure games" for rich New Yorkers. Invented by GK Chesterton in The Club of Queer Trades.

run a game farm for animals to be used in wildlife documentaries

run cupcake workshops for children (cupcake art)

send scam emails in response to current fears (tax mix-up, insurance over-payment)

tractor rustler, turkey rustler

troll FB for targets to burgle

video game voice actor

wedding banquet scalpers
(like ticket touts, they buy up the slots in all the favourite venues at the favourite times, and then offer them for sale to desperate couples – at a premium) 

write “how to write books” books short story writer Richard Bausch describes meeting a couple who edited a struggling literary magazine and funded it by publishing a never-ending stream of how-to manuals for would-be writers.

More HERE.

Wednesday 19 January 2011

New Turns of Phrase

...are worth borrowing. More here, here, here and here.

A Hail Mary pass or Hail Mary play in American football refers to any very long forward pass made in desperation with only a small chance of success, especially at or near the end of a half.

Barnes has all the charisma of a cheese straw. Anthony Quinn in The Independent Dec 2010

Bath is a perfect storm of heritage kitsch. @richardbratby

Cappuccino machines have joined percolators in the coffee bar Valhalla. Rupert Goodwins

double bagel A tennis score of 6-0, 6-0

doughily self-important
Wendy Ide in The Times on Russell Crowe

Her metaphors are so bad, they make you cry out in pain. Rachel Cooke Observer Dec 2010

It bleakens the place even more. @quantick

It's extraordinary how quickly the water closes over the head of even the most eminent and influential person once he has died. Sasha Lubetkin

page-view whoring


Sentence in an over-earnest cookery book I'm using: “It is important to buy fish responsibly.” @tomroper

Several pedants broke loose from their chains (when someone used "data" as a singular).

siloisation Academics isolated in silos of different disciplines.

someone with quicksand-like ways They bring you down/put you down.

sousveillance recording the police on your mobile

Thanks to the force of Firth Guardian on The King’s Speech

The garden stretches to Stoke on Trent. Martin Roberts Homes under the Hammer 2011

Well, I say sea view, it’s really more of a sea glimpse. Martin Roberts Homes under the Hammer 2011

With some of the fancier Crossrail station designs being crimped back for financial reasons

Tuesday 18 January 2011

More Useful Adjectives

A good adjective can reveal new angles.

deeply unglamorous
The deeply unglamorous chair of Labour's national executive committee ploughed on through the numbers. Yahoo news on Anne Black, September 25, 2010

feline wonderfully feline assessment of all the leading personalities of the day (blurb for Chips Channon’s diaries)

fey whimsy The Return of Common Sense How the Great Recession has changed architecture—for the better. By Witold Rybczynski Jan. 13, 2011 Five years ago, I wrote an essay for Slate about Mexican architect Enrique Norten. I characterized Norten, whose work I admire, as belonging to the rationalist tradition of Modernism. I also observed that, judging from some of his recent designs, he was succumbing to pressure to produce increasingly unusual and startling buildings more along the lines of the Expressionist anti-rationalism of architects such as Libeskind, Hadid, and Mayne. "It would be a shame if Norten were pulled in this direction," I wrote. "The theatricality weighs uneasily on his unsentimental and tough brand of minimal modernism." Well, he was pulled. In the following two years he designed a number of gyrating skyscrapers whose fey whimsy rivalled the anti-rationalists. Thankfully, none were built—the Great Recession saw to that.

high-minded (explains so many people)

hovery Waiters at Gauthier Soho “a little hovery” Guardian Sept 10

misty therapy speak
Times Tim Teeman aug 27 10

"Wiccan Noddy-book" from Flickr witchcraft group asking for serious pix only


Local resident’s view of the ghastly Quill tower

risibly soppy Plot of Radamisto Rich Morrison Times Oct 10 10

sharp-elbowed The middle-classes – always elbowing each other out of the way in the fight for school places etc.

trite, tedious etc Based on the bestselling book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love stars Julia Roberts as Liz, a recently divorced travel writer who embarks on a journey of self-discovery through Italy, India and Bali. The movie is essentially 140 minutes of “wearisome, trite and questionable” psychobabble that entirely wastes Roberts’s talents, said Nigel Andrews in the Financial Times. The film is “packed full of tedious New Age gobbledegook and the sort of moral platitudes you see on car window stickers”, said Matthew Bond in The Mail on Sunday. “British audiences, and male audiences in particular, will find its very American navel-gazing desperately trying.” September 28, 2010

More adjectives here and here and here and here.

Sunday 9 January 2011

Private Eye Speak

The British satirical magazine Private Eye has a language all its own that it has been using for at least 30 years. Here is a crib:

fragrant hackette: female journalist, from the free “Fragrant Towelette” – a baby wipe saturated with eau de cologne in a sachet – that you used to be given on cheap flights. A hack is a journalist.

(Shurely shome mishtake. Ed.) The slurred speech is from the late William Deedes, editor of The Daily Telegraph. It’s supposed to be a comment the Editor has written on a proof.

Who he? What that? Who they? Harold Ross, founder of the New Yorker, used to write this on proofs. He wasn't surprisingly ignorant of modern life, he was pointing out that the writer had used a pronoun without an antecedent.

Private Eye inserts (Who he? Ed.) after the name of someone who thinks they ought to be well-known. And (What that? Ed.) after a ludicrous term for something risible.

Ugandan discussions: This allegedly derives from an incident at a party when a female guest came downstairs from tête a tête where “we’ve been discussing the situation in Uganda” with her dress on inside out.

The Grauniad:
The Guardian newspaper, because it used to be full of misprints. There are various explanations, some involving the need to catch the last train from Manchester (where it was once produced).

tired and emotional: What politician George Brown allegedly was when pictured being held up by two mates.

Polly Filla: Any female journalist employed to fill a column with witterings about her personal life. Jilly Cooper and Katharine Whitehorn started the trend – but they were sharp, observant and funny.

Are they in some way related? Can they possibly be related?
(Caption under photographs of two unlikely celebrities.)

[sic] Latin, it means something like “just so”. Journalists add it after a verbatim quote that uses words incorrectly, to show that it’s the speaker’s mistake, not theirs. Private Eye adds it after something sickening, following Dorothy Parker, who wrote: “Sic. Sic as a dog.”