Category: Words

Our language lunacy as defined by Orwell

In my last post, I quoted some examples of linguistic lunacy – commingled containers, access controller, disposable mucus recovery unit, etc – and wondered what Orwell would think. In his Politics and the English Language essay, he offered “five specimens of the

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Language lunacy – what would Orwell think?

The English language today – or why George Orwell would need his mucus recovery unit if he had not experienced a suboptimal outcome George Orwell’s essay, ‘Politics and the English Language‘, begins: “Most people who bother with the matter at

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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:

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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

Manglishing the language

Back in 2006, it was reported that Malaysia planned to fine people who mangled the national language on posters and signs. Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim warned that billboards and posters showing “mutated” forms of Malay would lead

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Proofreading – Knight in dingy armour fights for the cause

It’s important to proofread your own writing, said British Schools Minister. He should know. His own blog was riddled with errors …

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