Thursday, 3 March 2011

Words and Phrases that Make Someone Else Grind Their Teeth

Someone called Philip Temple became so annoyed by the way that the word 'unacceptable' is often used that he wrote to the Australian about it:

Good on you, Philip - I agree.

5 comments:

  1. The language of diplomacy is necessarily bland. "Views with concern" is an old favorite, isn't it? One saves the ringing declarations--day of infamy, unconditional surrender, etc.--for when war has superseded diplomacy.

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  2. It is interesting, though ... In current usage, it does seem a bland word, as in "It is unacceptable for you to chew with your mouth open, young man." But I wonder if, originally, or at, least formerly, the word had more intensity -- more of the feel of a wall; of taking a stannd;of closing off to something. It almost seems if it is used more now to mean "inapproriate." But, popular usage is everything, I guess.

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  3. I look forward to many 'free and frank discussions' with you both - which I hope will never escalate to 'a frank exchange of views'.
    And, yes, Chris, I think it did until recently function as 'more of a wall' - what a great phrase.

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  4. i also find irritating the australian media's use of the term 'weather event' in reference to the recent flooding in queensland.

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  5. And 'rain event' and 'flood event'. I don't think they've used 'earthquake event' yet in Christchurch, although I haven't been paying close attention.

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