The sins of spin – let’s find the home truths behind the slogans
YOU can’t have missed all the party political placards that have sprung up, campaigning for candidates in the impending General Election. As usual, we also have giant billboards with their catch phrases and political promises. These slogans may, at first glance, appear to be clever, conveying important messages but, on quiet reflection, they are often empty and sometimes deliberately misleading.
We thought it necessary to take a lighter look at some of the slogans and sayings that pervade our everyday home life. The list below is in no way intended to be either comprehensive or complete and is set out in “no particular order”.
Our intention is to give a few examples of the expressions to which we are subjected to every day and hopefully this will help to see through the terminology and understand the reality.
Tried and Tested – We tried and tried and tried: we tested it and it still doesn’t work.
Home Cooked – a) a very hot conservatory that leaves you boiling even during the mildest of summers and is so cold in the winter that you dare not enter or b) food in a café, bar, restaurant or pub that was cooked anywhere but at home.
Decor – to pull out the centre of a piece of fruit.
Decorate – to cause total upheaval, endless arguments and mountains of dust.
Redecorate – to do it all again because the colour did not look right.
Homage – a really old house.
Restore – to go back to the same shop time and time again.
IT Department – a place where you have to make your own tea and share it with a bunch of computer buffs.
Designer furniture – furniture that has been designed by no human, assembled in a far-away factory using dubious quality materials, is rather uncomfortable and won’t last very long.
In the style of... a blatant copy of a classic or iconic piece of furniture, which has usually been pared down so that it can be produced more cheaply and has been so modified that it really bears little relation to the original for the same reason. From the era of... See above. Following in the footsteps of... See above but even worse. Authentic – a blatant rip off. Oven Baked – where else can something be baked?
Ideal for parties – will break down if used in front of more than two people.
An AM appointment – (especially for washing machine repairs) means any time after 4.30 pm when you’re likely to nip out to pick up children from school.
A PM appointment – next day if you’re lucky.
Timed delivery – the time the delivery van arrives which is never the time expected due to snow, flooding, health and safety regulations or, most recently, volcanic ash.
Fresh fish – may have been frozen but was definitely fresh immediately before freezing.
Service lines open 24/7 – closed on Saturdays, Sundays, Bank Holidays and after 4pm on Fridays and are always engaged at any other times or you will be placed in a queue for about three years.
Press one for service, press two for accounts, press three for... there’s nobody there!
Awesome view – or some view in between the industrial chemical plants that have been built outside your front windows.
Suitable for all ages – virtually unintelligible to anyone over the age of seven.
Instructions included – instructions are nowhere to be found (NB even if they had been included, they would have been impossible to follow anyway)
Easy to follow instructions – about as easy to follow as a politician’s explanation of why whatever went wrong was the previous government’s fault.
I’ll have to refer this to my manager – I can’t be bothered with you or your problem.
I’ll get a technician to call you back – I have no idea what’s wrong and I’m really not in the least interested.
This is a customer service call to check if everything’s okay following our engineer’s visit – we really can’t believe that we’ve actually fixed something.
Your call is very important to us – which is why we aren’t answering you.
And, finally, if you have any of your own favourites that you would like to add, please send them to us at the Yorkshire Post, c/o Sharon Dale, Features Dept, Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 1RF or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin and Patricia Silver are owners of The Home at Salts Mill, Saltaire. ww.thehomeonline.co.uk
HANGING ON THE TELEPHONE: Your call is important to us, honest...