Eager to preserve the English language against a rising tide of nonsense, we asked readers to compose a piece of prose crammed with as many infuriating phrases as possible. Christopher Howse is amazed and amused by the torrent of replies.
1)Proactive, self-starting facilitator required to empower cohorts of students and enable them to access the curriculum,” said part of an advertisement for a teacher sent by Brian Smith.
The cohorts will be empowered by the faciltator enabling them to access the curriculum .Some anti-social elements ?
2)Our profitability is on a downward slope,” wrote Peter Seaton, in the authentic voice of unthinking management, and we must examine all avenues to flush out unnecessary costs. Please go away, sharpen your pencil and have a rethink.”
All avenues should be examined to flush out unnecessary costs.Sanitation is of the utmost importance in management.
3)It’s not the end of the world, but, to be perfectly honest with you, when push comes to shove, you don’t want to be literally stuck between a rock and a hard place.While it is not the end of the world, when push comes to shove, you dont want to be stuck in those unmentionable places ,surely.
4)On the ground, you know, there are basically tons of dudes using English wrongly, but, basically, my single criteria is to expose language thats not fit for purpose? I guess, you know, thats what u r trying to do with this competition, yeah? Wicked. Basically, theres literally tons of words not used properly? But, you know, at this particular moment in time I want to look forward, not back, so we can move forward together? My particular skool was gr8, with teachers on the ground doing a brill job. Thats how come my English is so good? Kid’s today basically ain’t got a chance in hell? Untill we get the teachers we deserve the problem is basically a no-hoper. Cool. Basically, thats it, basically. ATB, Mr Les Bolton.How come this guy’s English is so good ? We hope he is not having his tongue in his cheeks !
5)The report into the crash said if there hadn’t been an error on behalf of the lorry driver, less people would have been affected.When asked to explain, the driver said “No problem. I myself personally think there’s no worries at this moment in time. The amount of people involved was not a lot. Whatever. Have a nice day.”Not many people are involved in the crash .Just a few..Not many bones are broken .Have a nice day.
6)Retirement has required a rigorous and robust reassessment of our core competencies, visions and values. Leveraged away from our work-stations, a raft of financial and strategic options underpins and overarches the reinvention of our lifestyle mission statement.It is only after retirement that they have assessed alll the core competencies ,visions and values.While in service such an assessment was not considered necessary.
7)A re-evaluation of our methodologies has led to a sea-change. Tasked with delivering sustainable growth in our external horticultural environment, a work-in-progress encompasses benchmarking the broccoli, risk-assessing the radishes and applying change management principles to the diverse peripherals on the compost heap.Benchmarking the broccoli ,risk-assessing the radishes and change managing the compost heap are part of the vision statement, especially the compost part of it.Let us engage this man as a consultant for our Business Process Reengineering execise.
8)Let’s stop obsessing and get down to the nitty gritty of fleshing out the gender issues. John. I’m wanting to hear inclusiveness and ethnicity here. A raft of blue sky thinking to challenge accepted orthodoxies. The bottom line is about empowerment and at the end of the day getting up to speed working 24/7 towards a coalition of understanding through best practice. This can only be fully achieved if the glass ceiling, in inverted commas, is transformed into a level playing field where the goal posts cannot be moved without leaving a substantial carbon footprint which inevitably would consign us all to the expediency of existing between a rock and a hard place. We must pick up the ball and run because we can no longer wait for the smoking gun of the next denial of service attack to consign us all to the wheely bin of history.Earlier we have flushed out unnecessary expenses . Let us now flesh out the gender issues.A raft of blue sky thinking is urgently needed. For this the glass ceiling has to be transformed into a level playing field.(We don’t mean we should level down the glass dome and start playing football there).The goal posts cannot be moved without leaving a substantial carbon footprint . This carbon thing would consign us to that God awful place between the rock and a hard place. We must run because we can no longer wait for the smoking gun of the next denial of service attack to consign us to the wheely bin of history.