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.

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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?

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