Wednesday, 14 October 2020


This is just a tiny moan about a new cliché that sets my teeth on edge. It is much loved by UK public health scientists but I’ve also heard it used in quite marginal video casts about polling for the US presidential election & I expect it will soon be turning up elsewhere.

My objection to be honest is based on nothing. I can’t mount a sensible argument, beyond resistance to linguistic change, for my hatred of this new usage.

So really this post is more than anything simply to ask whether I am all alone in my hostility to this phrase, or at least to its use in circumstances outside the kitchen:

“baked in”


“The rising COVID cases are baked in. I’m sorry to say that deaths are already BAKED IN.” A scientist called Van Tam said that yesterday. Of course, for an Australian brought up on Tim Tams, an impression of his absurdity was already “baked in”. Aaargh. I’ve just understood why I’m so hostile to “baked in” - because I recognise how revoltingly easily it could slip in to my vocabulary, replacing genuine thought.


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