Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New book on doublespeak, euphemisms and gobbledygook

In 2004 we published Peter Isaac's book The New Gobbledygook, a dictionary and guidebook to newspeak; now an Australian, John Croucher, has published an equivalent book with helpful, amusing and - shall we say - rather cynical interpretations of fancy words and phrases that you see in Real Estate Ads, Job Ads, Management Proclamations and the like.

Some examples:-

Real estate euphemisms

"low maintenance lot" - it has no backyard

"wildlife nearby" - there are snakes in the nextdoor property

"uninterrupted views" - there are no trees

"cross ventilation" - there's no glass in the windows

"country living" - it's too far to drive to work

"storybook cottage" - it has a pitched rather than a flat roof

"olde world grandeur" - nothing has been repaired since it was built

Jobs and the workplace

"paradigm shift" - what we're doing isn't working, we're going to try something else

"blue sky thinking" - you have no idea what you're doing, neither do we

"make internal efficiencies" - remove all the things that make your job worthwhile and possibly starting firing people

"cost containment procedures" - same as above

"you can put your hat into the ring" - you've got no chance of being successful

"adherence to guidelines will be a factor in your periodic review" - if you don't do what we tell you you'll be marked down

"information session" - we tell you and you listen only

"being a team player" - no original thoughts are allowed

"applicants should apply in person" - we need to see if you're fat, ugly or old

Both books are available in our on-line shop.

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