Outfoxed and defenceless!

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REGULAR readers of this column may recall I wrote earlier about pet hates which got me thinking about some others and… Well, with my Starred Double First in Sourpuss Studies from Meldrew University, let’s just stick with a few of these today.

But where to start? Well, flicking through the UK papers, how about all those annoying phrases politicians use that keep cropping up? Like: ‘Getting on with the job’ – surely one of the most overused, valueless and dishonest phrases ever.

Ditto: “Spending more time with my family/ friends/ Mr Werritty(?)” (ie. jumping before being pushed for provoking another scandal – like ousted Defence Secretary Liam Fox).

And it surely won’t have missed your notice that no political apparatchik can open his mouth these days without using the words: “Open and transparent” when he means precisely the opposite.

Or: “It will never happen again”, of yet another child abuse fiasco, disaster, catastrophic accident. And, incidentally, isn’t the euphemism beloved of fashion/ beauty editors, “age-inappropriate”, just another way of saying … “old”?

Which brings me neatly on to “vintage”. This used to describe beautiful second-hand cars like those taking part in the London to Brighton Car Rally. But nowadays you find it applied to everything – old clothes, furniture, ageing rockstars. In other words, any old junk past its sell-by date.

And then there’s that piously irritating request even in five-star hotels to reuse your towels and bedlinen to: “Help us conserve our planet’s natural resources”. They say conserving water and saving on detergent will help the environment but don’t they really mean it saves them a few euros?

And while we’re on the subject, is the use of fixed liquid soap/shampoo dispensers in some hotels solely in the interests of “sustainability”? Those same hotels where the “Bio Sauna” is just a regular sauna set on low heat with funny coloured light bulbs!

Swiss hotels deserve a mention of their own. Everywhere you go, you are reminded of the words “Wellness” and “Diet” (but nowhere the words “at least as long as you keep eating and I save money”). Do Swiss hotels really need to serve tiny portions of bizarre concoctions like “Wellness Soup”, “Wellness Drink”, “Wellness Chocolates” (yes, really!)?

Finally, on a really positive note, thank you for helping to make my novel, Soul Stealer – which I wrote about here two weeks ago reach the top 50 psychological thriller category of Amazon’s eBooks!

Nora Johnson’s novels, Soul Stealer & The De Clerambault Code (www.nora-johnson.com) available at Amazon in paperback and as eBook. Profits to Cudeca

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