Whoosh! There goes another year and, hopefully, some of its irritations

NO-NONSENSE: Update after police tasered a terrorist after a stabbing in a London tube station.

2015 is over and I can’t recall a year so full of irritating phrases

LOOKING back over 2015, I can’t recall a year so full of irritating phrases. Phrases like ‘with all due respect’ (almost always coupled with an insult or unsolicited advice). ‘It is what it is’.(In other words, ‘I have nothing helpful to say, but don’t want to stop talking yet.’ Weakest. Advice. Ever.) And, ‘Just sayin’. (Thanks for clarifying the thing you just said is a thing you are saying.) 

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Not to mention all those buzzwords like ‘crisis’ (refugee crisis, euro crisis, political crisis, NHS crisis, housing crisis), and buzzwords relating to the economic downturn like ‘austerity’ (code for ‘the government’s broke’).

TV subtitles (especially the BBC’s), essential for foreign-language dramas (though sometimes inaccurate), can produce amusingly unintended results. 

On a recent Match of the Day, for example, the camera focused on the former chairman of Aston Villa. “Great to see Doug Ellis here in his Villa scarf,” the commentator announced. The subtitles translated this as ‘. . . here with Hezbollah’. 

Another subtitle error during an interview with Labour’s Neil Coyle about the death threats he’d received, the MP was quoted as saying that he was trying not to let abusers ‘get in the waif doing my job’. Let’s trust she’s at least paid the minimum wage.

The British capacity for understatement can sometimes sound weirdly irritating to non-Brits. But to us Brits, the use of the stiff-upper-lip is often strangely reassuring, adding calm and self-control in these stressful times. 

After police tasered a terrorist who  stabbed a man at a tube station in December, London Underground issued this no-nonsense, no-frills update: “Delays on the Central line due to a customer incident at Leytonstone.” 

WC Fields once said he spent most of his money on booze and fast cars…the rest he squandered. He was talking about money, but surely time’s important too? So, why do so many Brits squander their time whingeing? 

OK, had enough of all my own whingeing, next scandal please!

Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon in paperback/eBook (€0.89;£0.79) and iBookstore. All profits to Cudeca charity. 



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