The sins of spin – let’s find the home truths be­hind the slo­gans

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY - Robin and Pa­tri­cia Sil­ver

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 [email protected]

Robin and Pa­tri­cia Sil­ver are own­ers of The Home at Salts Mill, Sal­taire. ww.the­home­on­

HANG­ING ON THE TELE­PHONE: Your call is im­por­tant to us, hon­est...

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