Tuesday, 2 October 2007

She Literally Exploded ...

What phrase enrages you most? "How are you spelling that?" perhaps, or, "issues around"? When the question came up in the Letters page of "The Daily Telegraph", hundreds of readers nominated the ones they loathed, and thousands more were posted on line. Provoked beyond endurance, Christopher Howse and Richard Preston compiled "The Infuriating Phrasebook", drawing on written and spoken insults to the intelligence from television, radio and the press.

All right - You all right there? A patronising enquiry made by nurses to old ladies already humiliated by being addressed by their Christian names. It is also used by shop assistants to customers who have been waiting a long time for service.
Blue-sky thinking - Species of daydreaming for which businesses are usually billed by the hour. It can lead to thinking the unthinkable or saying the unsayable.
Enjoy! - An order issued by waiters or baristas after they have delivered yours.
First invented by - The second inventor is deservedly less well known.
I'll let you go now - But you'll buttonhole me later.
Inappropriate - Used by officials who want to blame people for behaviour that is not illegal or forbidden. The patient used an inappropriate tone when raising issues around ward cleanliness.
Jus - gravy.
Pan-fried - instead of being fried in an old dustbin-lid.
Serving suggestion - On the label of a prepared meal, a warning that the plate, tablecloth, and accompanying boar's head shown in the picture are not included in the small plastic container.
Spiral out of control - Residents feared that costs for the leisure complex would spiral out of control. When aeroplanes spiral out of control they go downwards. Spiralling costs seldom do the same.
From Amazon.co.uk: She Literally Exploded: The "Daily Telegraph" Infuriating Phrasebook: Books: Christopher Howse,Richard Preston, http://www.amazon.co.uk/She-Literally-Exploded-Infuriating-Phrasebook/dp/1845296753/ref=pd_sim_b_1/026-2581514-6189208

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