Category Archives: Jargon

The shortest distance

Last week I took part in the process of interviewing for a new manager for my mother’s care home. I was one of a panel of two relatives and two residents who met the candidates for an informal chat, before … Continue reading

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Nudge, nudge

Until yesterday I had never heard of the government’s Behavioural Insights Team, otherwise known as the Nudge Unit. Last night I watched a news item about how they have been changing the way officials communicate with taxpayers and consumers to … Continue reading

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Through the wall

I’m looking at a picture of the Great Wall of China. It’s on a calendar given to me by my friend and acupuncturist Wenbo Xu. There are two crane-like birds in a meadow in the foreground. Beyond them the wall … Continue reading

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To the letter

Last week I spent a day with members of the housing team of a local authority. We were looking at the letters they send out to tenants on a variety of subjects, ranging from noise to rubbish to gardens to … Continue reading

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Inner voices

Ten days ago I gave a talk to 20 Scottish judges as part of a two-day seminar on Judicial Writing and Reasoning. I was the cabaret on the second morning, a one-hour slot sandwiched between the Lord Justice Clerk who … Continue reading

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Sin of omission?

I was listening at lunchtime yesterday to the BBC’s director of human resources being grilled about bullying and the ‘strong undercurrent of fear’ uncovered at the corporation by its recent Respect at Work review. The interviewer suggested that the human … Continue reading

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Let the meaning choose the word

In 1946, George Orwell wrote of the English language: “It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.” He was speaking, in the main, … Continue reading

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