Language is butchered for own health
If continuous development is a vital sign of a living language, English is in excellent health. Jim Chipp has compiled a list of the more imaginative terms to cross our desk lately.
From Hutt Valley District Health Board quality accounts. ‘‘Credentialling’’:
This stems from a possible verb ‘‘to credential’’. If there is such a verb, there must be a noun to describe the process, which would be ‘‘credentialation’’. Example of possible use: ‘‘ Credentialations on gaining your medical practitioner’s licence’’.
From Business NZ media release, two entries.‘‘ Best average’’, which could conceivably mean ‘‘our best isn’t that flash, but you should see our mediocre’’, or alternatively, ‘‘ our best is only average’’, depending whether you’re a glass half full kind of person.
And: ‘‘ seasonally adjusted main diffusion indices were in expansion’’. Translation: We have absolutely no idea. Example of use: ‘‘ May your seasonally adjusted main diffusion indices be always in expansion’’, as in wishing someone well – ‘‘may the Force be with you’’ or ‘‘kia kaha’’.
From a Wellington City Council media release. ‘‘ MarComms specialist’’: We’re not sure what one of these is, but it might be someone who sprays graffiti on walls.
From a Wellington Regional Council media release. ‘‘Prefeasibility’’. Translation: It seems to be something to do with time travel, as in the apparent ability to do something before it is proved possible, or impossible. Example of use: ‘‘ Sesqi was theoretically prefeasible in 1988, but not actually feasible in 1990’’, or maybe it means something we could do once, but can’t any more. For example: ‘‘It was prefeasible to buy a pint of milk for 4d, but it’s not feasible now’’. For one thing, we don’t have pints or pence any more.
From the Capital and Coast District Health Board’s governance manual. ‘‘ Operationalising engagement’’: This one has us stumped. Carrying out some kind of joint pre-marital surgical procedure, perhaps?
From a Capital & Coast District Health Board meeting. ‘‘I’m in periodic dialogue with . . .’’. We think it means, ‘‘I sometimes talk to...’’
From the same meeting came the concept of thinking in a space. ‘‘ There are some spaces we don’t think in, others we do some [thinking] and some we think about completely’’. We are not sure what this member intended to say, or whether he was either. Maybe the board has places for staff to go to when they want to not think at all, think a bit or think really hard; who knows?