BBC Radio4 Today Programme this morning 16th Sept, discussing a book by ex-Aussie-PM speech-writer Don Watson and comic Adam Hill(?). About the “generalisation” of management speak actually reducing the number of core words, particularly adjectives, in the language. Many “portmanteau” words with many meanings from trivial to important. It’s partly political correctness, using euphemisms to avoid a taboo or unpleasant word, when everybody knows that’s what you actually mean from the context. Since we all know downsized means sacked, why don’t we actually say sacked ? This is the hypocrisy.

This was contrasted with “strine” creative Australian dialectic use of the language, and a suggstion that the stereotypical rising questioning intonation, or the habit of leaving sentences unfinished, was actually adding meaning to the original phrase.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.