Tuesday 15 July 2014

Building Euphemisms


“In the 1960s, ‘Victorian’ and ‘monstrosity’ were two words that seemed to be inextricably linked... Victorian was fusty, excessive, old, impractical, self-indulgent, snobbish, aloof architecture, utterly opposed to the age of space travel.” (bbc.co.uk Feb 08)

“'Multi-utility diversionary solutions', say the signs. This appears to mean 'Digging up the road'.” (@hughpearman)

“They're 'upgrading' i.e adding more shops to the station.” (@entschwindet/Douglas Murphy)

“English Heritage once reported that the 200-year-old Dalston Terrace houses were ‘remarkable survivors of Georgian architecture’. Sadly, since the Council acquired them in 1984, their chances of survival diminished year on year. Hackney did nothing to preserve them despite its vacuous platitudes about "championing the historic environment" and wanting a "conservation-led scheme".” (opendalston.blogspot.co.uk)

“Hackney council is poised to knock down 16 houses in Dalston Lane thought to date from 1807 and replace them with new buildings in ‘heritage likeness’.” (Hackney Gazette, January 2014) After loud protests, the terrace is still there, and may be restored. (But of course protest never changed anything.)

“Oh please! Not another ‘business district with a riverside park lined with cafes and restaurants’.” (Twitter)

Gehry Scales Back Canadian Skyscraper to Be “More Realistic” Dezeen headline July 2014

“The epicentre of this scene is a fine deli. Nearby there's a place selling crepes, a great coffee shop, and very recently a high-end restaurant has just opened up. Even with all this, the area retains its character.” yelp.co.uk (Presumably meaning “a few relics of working-class life”.)

What a brilliant euphemism: some parts of Greenwich Park will be "preserved by record" – it means "destroyed"! (ND)

From dorisandbertie.com:
Well-presented: painted magnolia throughout
Truly well-presented: as above but with fake wooden flooring
This apartment also benefits from excellent proximity to the local first-rate amenities: This flat is next door to the Costcutter.
Charming: small.

Controversial Smithfield Market plans approved” BCOnline July 2013 (The Smithfield Market plans were a desecration of a historic building. They have been overturned.)

“This distinctly curvy (for Brutalism) and attractive building has been earmarked for redevelopment (i.e to be demolished).” londonist.com

“London’s skyline must evolve as our city grows.” (Boris Johnson 2014) He means “more skyscrapers”.

unnecessary burdens: “A typical euphemism for pesky safeguards and restrictions.” (Douglas Murphy/@entschwindet)

“Often a fancy term to describe how poor people are cleared from valuable land to make way for the rich.” (Aditya Chakrabortty, Guardian May 2014)

improvement, regeneration: “The main shopping street had been pedestrianised and the Market Square had been turned into a kind of piazza with show-off paving and the usual array of cast-iron trimmings. The whole town centre seemed uncomfortably squeezed by busy, wide relief roads.” Bill Bryson returns to Dover after 20 years in Notes from a Small Island (1995). (When and why did this become What To Do With Town Centres?)

“Pushing the existing community out to neo-banlieues.” (New Statesman)

what we need in our streets:
“Gentrification, obviously.” (@owenhatherley, commenting on the Stirling Prize for architecture)

More euphemisms here, and links to more.

No comments:

Post a Comment