Month: July 2010

How official language masks human heartbreak

Irish immigration laws may be “robust”, but they are “progressive” – so all is fine and dandy. And if anyone ends up heartbroken, that’s ok, as long as they are not “excessively” heartbroken.

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The Queen’s English as spoken by Ryanair’s O’Leary

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary is a remarkable character (love him, hate him or love/hate him). He’s remarkable both in what he’s achieved (love or hate his methods) and in the way he talks to the world. Here are some examples:

Posted in Jargon, Language, Words Tagged with: , , , ,

Hey, let’s get the Americans to speak the Queen’s English

Did you know that there’s an organisation called the Queen’s English Society? No? Nor did I, until today. On its website, it shouts out its key message – in capital letters (but gentlemen shouldn’t shout, so I won’t inflict them

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Spelling errors – ‘Nice suit, a pity about the stains’

Spelling errors? Big yawn. Who cares – as long as you get across the big message? I just came across a message sent to a LinkedIn group from someone anxious to publicise his new CD: “I’m proud to announce that

Posted in Editing, Language, Proofreading, Typos Tagged with: , ,

Word use – how to make a good word meaningless

How do you render a word meaningless? One good way is to use it repeatedly in such a way that it ends up meaning nothing. That is the current fate of the word ‘significant’, which has been so over-used that

Posted in Language, Words

World-class, state-of-the-art, best-practice bullshit

If Professor Michael O’Keeffe, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon in Temple Street Children’s Hospital, Dublin, is as good a doctor as he is a man, then he’s one of the best. On 9 July, he was interviewed by Pat Kenny on RTE

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