Uncategorized

British defence minister armed with opaque jargon

Politicians are known for being good at ducking questions and poor at giving straightforward replies. If there was a contest between them,  I believe the British Defence Secretary would stand a good chance at being named jargon master, at least in England.

Blinkers please, we’re Americans

A new wave of intellectual intolerance is emerging among young American social activists that threatens to take political correctness, an unwelcome export from the United States if you ask me, to new levels of bigotry.

Want to know about grammar? Don’t ask the English-language teacher

I must share with you, dear reader, a revelation about the apparent lack of knowledge of grammar among teachers in Britain. This has been exposed by the architect of a government-funded teaching programme, according to The Times.

My pet hates 16 – Dense, daft writing

Fancy some laughter therapy to strengthen your immune system or how about joining a colour therapy session to boost your self-confidence? These are only two healing methods on offer in a directory listing therapy centres in England. Another thing they have in common is muddled writing.

Can’t take it any more, logging off

For the past year and a half I have published 40 articles about how the English language is being used, or rather abused. I have scored nearly 8,500 unique hits, for which I am grateful, but there is no sign of the language improving. What did I expect?

Rinse and repeat? Not me thanks

Being a former foreign correspondent I thought I knew everything about jargon in journalism. For example, you’d door-step a cabinet meeting, hoping to get a comment from a minister once they came out. A sub editor at Reuters HQ in London would sub, i.e. edit, your story. But little did I know about online jargon […]

My pet hates 15 – Just don’t ramp me up

An obscure expression has crept into general parlance and seems to be replacing perfectly adequate words for no reason whatsoever. I’m referring to ramp up as in bolster, strengthen or increase. When did two words become preferable to one?