Unplanned language

December 22nd, 2010
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“Yates said the police raids were pre-planned and involved ‘several forces’.” -

British police spokesman quoted in a CTV on-line story about recent anti-terror arrests.

In the relentless struggle to create more jargon, in this case trying to one-up mere planning, one arrives at “pre”-planning. That would be planning done BEFORE the regular ahead-of-time planning? If you thought there was no stupider term than “pre-owned”, as in not used but pre-owned cars, here it is.

One of our kind readers suggested it wasn’t fair to quote police who, in his estimation, were perpetual jargon inventing machines. Sorry.

One much more disturbing police quote came this week after the murder of two children in Edonton. A police spokeswoman was aske by an interviewer what the impact of these two horrible murders would be. Not batting an eyelash she said (I paraphrase) “Well of course there’s the impact on our team on the ground that’s really affected by this horrible situation; but really it affects all our staff of about 2000.” I had to pinch myself when I heard this. So let me get this straight. When asked about the effect of the murders, she answers about the effect on the police??? Wow. I’m sure someone said it later but, needless to say, our thoughts and payers should be with the family.

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By John Weissenberger