At the End of the Day

All in a Day’s Words

The Telegraph came up with a crackerjack collective noun for migrants earlier today, albeit unconsciously: ‘a backlog’. This is what every UK Party should guarantee at the next General Election. But have you noticed how, under New Labour, immigrants became migrants? It’s all part of the Lexicon of the Left, is it not? Immigrants are a boo term, let’s call them migrants and be all EU and fluffy free-market about it.

In the same way, at some point between 1961 and 1981, racialism became racism. So much easier to spit a two-syllable word, is it not? How much more honest it would have been to accept that ethnicity isn’t really the issue, the real problem for immigrants wishing to integrate into British society is culture. And so of course, it was necessary to invent multiculturalism. This word in time became equivalent to ‘nice’, as opposed to what it really was, a recipe for disaster with a long track record of internecine conflict and civil war.

It is one of the great ironies that language was developed to make finer, more subtle communication easier; but in the two great Anglo-Saxon democracies, English has become a vehicle for obfuscation. David Cameron’s speech yesterday was a classic example of the genre, but it was always going to be so: if you have to try, at one and the same time, to please the 1922 Committee, the majority of voters who want to leave the EU, the Civil Service and Tory modernisers who don’t, the Palace, Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay brothers, and Angela Merkel, there is no chance of anything comprehensible as a direction emerging.

Cameron is merely a bloke with no beliefs, a chap unable to grasp that, as a politician, you can’t please everyone: so instead of doing that, build a belief system and then please yourself. The only advantage he has is that he speaks English as his native tongue. English – the language of diplomacy, and quite rightly so. The language of ‘be sincere, even if you don’t mean it’. The language of, “With the greatest of respect”, “Can I help you at all?”, “I must warn you sir” and “Not at all – feel free”….all of which mean the diametric opposite of the words uttered.

But it is also a language that creates more humour and nonsense poetry than all other languages put together.

Transcendental: Rising above the pain of having teeth extracted.

The Elephant is a dainty bird/ It swings from bough to bough/ It makes its nest in a rhubarb tree/ And whistles like a cow.

Table Mountain: EU carpentry glut.

And so on and so on.

36 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. It is a list,that they have come to this position is through corrupt justices,politics & big business corruption,all joined together at bin laden type camp sites.helping position each other in treasonous pursuits of power,held together by the hold the initiation process that the elm courts & more hold sway over them

  2. Here you are actually well and truly de-constructing !
    Yes, the loathsomely re-fashioned language is, of course, Newspeak.
    Good obs about the word “Racialism” – always wondered what happened; I’m sure that your straightforward explanation is bang on. And do please – keep banging on …

  3. “But it is also a language that creates more humour and nonsense poetry than all other languages put together.”
    Well it used to. I’m not so sure now because using the diametrically opposite or nonsense analogies all too frequently falls foul of PC taboos.

  4. Cameron has little real world experience, no vision, and has got to be where he is ( in a second place sharing capacity) due to an inherited knowledge of how British politics works and his way around Westminster.
    His only goal is to be ‘someone’ for as long as possible until he fades into amnesia’d oblivion. One term is all he’ll get.
    He would be more useful in an ‘ Are you being served Sir?’ black and white waiters uniform carrying a tea towel and a tray.

  5. Some humorous misinterpretations of English medical definitions – it’s anyone’s guess whether allowable by the PC brigade ………..

    Barium – what you do when a patient dies
    Cauterize – made eye contact with her
    Urine – the opposite of you’re out
    Enema – opposite of a friend
    Dilate – to live a long time
    Node – was aware of
    Fibrillate – to tell a small lie
    Rectum – dang near killed ’em
    Coronary – domesticated singing bird
    Humerus – just tell us what we want to hear
    Penis – someone who plays the piano

  6. Have a copy – will be going through to see what I make of it…. just because you do not get a load of comments…… does not mean people are not interested….. next time I’ll try to say thanks :)

  7. Bob,

    It’s not that no-one cares – far from it; it perhaps is just that this rather lovely whimsical piece from John may not have been the best place to raise the matter. I am reminded of my Mother (bless her) who, when I was listening to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (D. Oistrakh playing) one morning, came barrelling into the sitting room with that morning’s Daily Mail in her clenched fist and asking very loudly and with every indication of outrage, “Have you seen this?”. Sort of broke the spell …

  8. @bobchewie. I have seen this list before, I don’t think the lack of replies is because no one cares, it is more one of resignation that the forces are so corrupt, if they PTB refuse to act against the real criminals in society, what chance against some bent coppers.

  9. May I recommend “I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue” as a source of great English wordplay?

    Trolley – a bit like a troll
    Collier – rather like a collie, only more so
    Hamas – tools used by Geordies to knock nails in

    It’s intriguing to think that Wodehouse and Gordon Brown shared English as their mother tongue … one the gentle potter using everyday materials to craft an exquisite turn of phrase, the other like a manic chimp with a Scrabble set.

  10. There is no question, JW, but that your comments on culture are completely on the money. Given present circumstances, and making a not altogether uneducated guess about future prospects, within the UK, it’s quite possible that we shall soon be entering a period of cultural dissonance of uncertain duration unparalleled since the Norman Conquest.

  11. Today a survey says, if asked to vote on EU membership, 53% would vote out – 47% to stay in. Sky are reporting ” most people would vote to leave the EU” A spin on words and statistics.

  12. The use of language is not just for obfuscation but also for outright manipulation. JW, your piece is insightful but you should also extrapolate your analysis to include linguistic intergroup bias and the linguistic categorisation model (Google scholar will provide the details). Language is now being used as a tool to modify opinion – the striver/skiver paradigm being the most notable recent example. The government’s behavioural insight team are masters of this dark art and their work is evident throughout the written and spoken output from whitehall.

  13. A few more definitions from I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue;
    Rectitude – the correct position to adopt when being examined for piles.
    Posthumous – Greek for food parcel.
    Limp – to walk with a lisp.
    Lisp – to speak with a limp.

  14. Ex-pat Brits have for centuries not intergrated into the local culture too, or is it the inaliable right of the Brit abroad to assume with effortless superiority that foreigners should allow them to keep their culture whenever and for whatever time they are in Johnny foreigners country?

  15. There is no issue with retaining one’s own culture in a foreign land. The issue is attempting to force one’s own culture onto the indigenous population. I know we have done that in the distant past, but compare and contrast the behaviour of, for example, the Chinese in this country, who cause no trouble and yet retain their own culture … and then there are other “cultures”, whom I would suggest are a little more troublesome.

  16. This is not the argument……….. what Brits abroad do is the concern of the local culture in that country………. in most countries however Brits are expected to abide by the cultural norms and legal system.

    If you are going back to the ‘days of empire’ the British culture was not so much imposed as it was admired and adopted……… once upon a time English was a byword for honesty and trust…….. and still is for some reason ! Probably because the majority of the English still want it to be so !

  17. No doubt the adage ‘perfidious Albion’ has survived because it was entirely incorrect.

    The idea that one should be proud of ones nation is admirable but to think one is superior or a chosen people is not to be encouraged.

    I guess morningstar has not noted the correlation of Britain’s economic slide since it lost it’s grip on it’s empire, the source of underpriced raw materials and a market (often the Uk retained 100% monopoly for the sale of it’s goods in that ever so grateful nation) for very over priced goods.

    By the way morningstar I was under the impression it was the British empire not the English one guess you disagree being presumably a purist?

  18. Surely the correct term for that huge queue of people awaiting immigration approval by the inept Borders Agency should be ‘Blacklog’.

  19. I’ve noticed the ‘migrants’ change too. It’s a deliberate attempt to pretend they’re not from foreign countries, and that we’re all part of the same EU superstate. (Except most countries don’t follow the letter and spirit of the rules, like we ‘Little Englanders’.)

  20. ” English has become a vehicle for obfuscation ”
    Troo Dat, as they say.
    Exactly why the rest of the world looks down on us, we never speak our mind and nuance doesn’t translate very well.

  21. Call me Dave translated.
    I have the power to call a referendum right now, but I won’t.
    I’ll set a date for a referendum when I might not be PM anymore.

  22. John we agree on most things but not on multiculturalism,the world is one,i have has many friends/enemies of all cultures to make even racialism multicultural,you have across the world many people of different cultures helping you,creed religion, atheism you name it all have good and bad in them,why on this point do you break away from all the good solid beliefs that hold you in good stead in finance ,politics & your general humanity

  23. I hate the word “multiculturalism ” particularly when used in a sentence with “benefit” . The only benefit is the ones being claimed by said immigrants. To really see the effects of uncontrolled immigration visit Slough. English is a second language there. The prestigious shops have largely been closed and replaced by the short lease pound land,charity type ones. It is a hole. Now in our adjoining village planning is going in for a 1000 pupil Sikh school. How in he f… does that benefit the area. The roads are tiny and congested with the current ones. We need another separatist,religious,sectarian school like a hole in the head but Gove and other idiots think this is a good idea It started of course with Bliar as most things did. It’s a pity these clowns weren’t brought up in Glasgow as I was,to really appreciate the effects of dividing pupils along religious lines.

  24. So would the world be any safer if Greece was in total isolation,hidden behind a iron curtain,left to it’s fate,would that fate be left in her own hands either

  25. When a man is tired of London………… he is tired of multiculturalism. And BTW, why aren’t Greece’s “friends” within the EU sending it’s residents humanitarian aid? Or have I mis-read the situation? How about the ‘North Sea throwbacks’ for a start /

  26. Pingback: No recovery, and certain death: the joyous message of the last Friday in January | The Slog. 3-D bollocks deconstruction

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