Friday, April 22, 2005

Social Services NewSpeak – Double-Plus Ungood

She was very nice and affable the girl – ok, woman (that’s an SMA – “showing my age” - all these kinds of people, social services workers, bank assistants, nurses and of course policemen seem ludicrously young) from the medical social services who checked my mother’s swallow reflex but just like her colleagues she was full of crappy English. The type of mindless, teeth-on-edge setting Orwellian NewSpeak where words are divorced from thought.

So, since when has “suffice” been a noun????

“We have to be sure mum has a suffice of fluid intake….and a suffice of nutrients…”

And while we are at it, what’s all this “mum” malarkey? “Your mother” would be ok or “Mrs Newton”..I could even put up with “Evelyn” but “mum”?? Is she now telling me about her mum by mistake or is she suffering under the delusion that she is my younger sister – my double-plus younger sister?

And I really blinked twice when she said “effecticity”. Ok, if we are going down that road then how about “effecticitiveness” or “effecticitivitiosity” – hmm…that has a certain gravitarse.

Then there are the abbreviations which get bandied about. Now, if you are with your workmates you can do this…every job or trade has its own “language” but you CAN’T use these expressions with people outside that circle…unless, of course, you are too stupid to realise!

“We could do a sub-cut perhaps…”

The unconscious intent is that you should be overwhelmed into silence by this erudition –“oooh, these guys are real experts!!” or too ashamed to admit that you don’t know what a sub-cut is –“don’t want to make a fool of myself”.

Well, sod it…this girl thinks she is my sister so…

“What the **** is a sub-cut??”

“Ah, it’s a subcutaneous drip…”

“Oh, you mean a drip that goes under the skin..?”

God, I LOVE knowing things like that!! It is one of the double-plus few benefits of a classical education that you know what all this terminology means without studying the particular subjects! Yummy!!

And the “experts” are always so pissed off when you know too…even yummier!

Anyway I definitely do NOT have a suffice of patience with this way of speaking…it really gets subcutaneous on me.

She saved the best for the end, “…well, for the time being we will just continue with TLC.”

I had to ask, didn’t I?

“Go on then, I give up…what is TLC?”



“Why TLC stands for Tender Loving Care.”

Pity she doesn’t have a suffice of TLC left over for the English language.


shannon said...

You made me laugh. :)

Neutron said...

Good! There has to be laughter as well as tears, huh?