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This morning whilst tidying my desk,  I use the word tidying advisedly because I just reduced chaos to simple disorder, but enough of the digression. My eye fell upon a letter from the trustees of one of my pensions and upon a particular sentence. “…I am delighted to advise you that….etc…discretionary uplift….. etc “.

Two things struck me. First the use of the word delighted. Why was he, she (?) delighted. Pleased perhaps, but delighted..? Conjures visions of he/she cavorting round the office with whoops of glee.

Secondly what’s this uplift ? We used to uplift fuel in the aircraft and I’m not sure that the word was  correct then. When I was at sea we used to ‘take on’ bunkers which seems more correct. Wouldn’t increase have been more appropriate than uplift. ?

Categories: General
  1. February 20, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Jazz, pension trustees rarely feel delight in their daily round! The writer is clearly a lady seeking pleasure unconfined and contemplating the purchase of a new upper undergarment. Hello, boys!

  2. February 20, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I wonder what they would have said if your pension fund decreased or is that a downturn? Would they have been devastated, Jazz?

  3. February 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    I wonder what they would have said if your pension fund decreased or is that a downturn? Would they have been devastated, Jazz?

    Wot like “…I am devastated to advise you that….etc…discretionary negative adjustment….. etc”

    Well if I received a letter like that I’d just have to grit my teeth and hope for an upturn leading to a more positive outcome……going forward…..grrrrrrrrrrrrr

  4. February 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Ah, modern speech. Senseless hyperbole and saccharine descriptions.

  5. christinaosborne
    February 20, 2015 at 6:49 pm

    The old girl used to use the phrase, ‘well wrapped in white linen.’
    Seemingly it has now achieved a sufficiency of such dimensions in language as to produce mummification!

    Fffing idiots, I so much prefer good old anglo saxon!

    Amusingly the doctor was hacking my toe yesterday which was exquisitely painful, I let rip a couple of extempory anglo saxon curses. Thank God he was a southerner from the Ozarks in Arkansas, ( a rough old area!) He burst out laughing,Seriously un PC! In the ensuing conversation it transpired he and his southern wife were sick to death of the mincing, PC appropriate nonsense of the locality! The carefully measured conversation designed not to offend all, any or sundry!

    I think you were a victim of a similar linguistic malaise!

  6. February 21, 2015 at 7:27 am

    It’s the art of the modern cabinet minister, you don’t have to have an answer to any of the problems your ministry might have but, you do have to have the ability to talk about any subject (other than the one you’ve been asked about, of course) for at least twenty minutes and use all the latest “buzzwords” whilst saying absolutely nothing at all.

  7. February 21, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Sir Humphrey is alive and well! Yes, Minister!

  8. Four-eyed English Genius
    February 21, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I have just found out that one of my old project software engineers now works for the firm that administers my main company pension fund. Fortunately, I got on very well with him and was able to help him out when his young son needed heart surgery, which was fully successful. He is a good software engineer and so, hopefully, I should not have any software glitches with my pension! 🙂

  9. February 21, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Sir Humphrey’s would probably been horrified by corporate speak. He would almost certainly have possessed a copy of Plain Words by Sir Ernest Gowers (HMSO).
    I have the 1954 edition and judging by some of the examples quoted therein circumlocution is nothing new although these days it has become particularly virulent.

  10. February 21, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    FEEG, perhaps you could offer him a belated job reference in exchange for a couple of extra zeros 🙂

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