Friday 5 December 2014

Euphemisms about Money and Stuff (in Quotes)

In the upper reaches of the British establishment, euphemism is a fine art, one that new arrivals need to master quickly. “Other Whitehall agencies” or “our friends over the river” means the intelligence services (American spooks often say they “work for the government”). A civil servant warning a minister that a decision would be “courageous” is saying that it will be career-cripplingly unpopular. “Adventurous” is even worse: it means mad and unworkable. A “frank discussion” is a row, while a “robust exchange of views” is a full-scale shouting match. Economist July 2014

Property developer on radio refers sheepishly to "more discerning customers". Otherwise known as "rich people". (G Fallowes /@GPhallus)

The price for Poole pottery has softened. (Dickinson’s Real Deal) It has fallen.

"The observation was made that the audience was mainly middle class, whereas the real pressures of food scarcity and climate change are more relevant to those who are less resourced." ... I’m afraid I can’t, without remark, allow "less resourced" to pass into the vernacular as a better phrase than "poor". (Zoe Williams, Guardian May 24 2014)

abundant: get lots of money. (The euphemism, these days, is "abundant," as in "Every day, you're going to live that abundant life!".

attractive: country where labour is cheap “China is starting to lose its attractiveness.” (McKinsey report on Bangladesh, 2011)

care in the community: Too often a code word for budget-cutting. (Karl Taro Greenfield)

production difficulties: Production difficulties – which I think means budget constraints. (The Times, 16 Nov 2013)

Cameron has "reformed" the NHS in the sense that the Goths "reformed" Rome. (@marcuschown)

sincere: I've consistently argued that a more contextual and sincere (ie uncommercial) take on public life is what the Queen Elizabeth Park needs. (Kieran Long)

suggested post, promoted tweet, special offer, sponsored post, sponsored link: social media advert (Steven Poole, Guardian 23 Nov 2013 The opposite are “organic” posts and tweets.)

More here, and links to the rest.

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