Gobbledygook and the European Union

Andy Carling muses on the language of politics, focusing on the impenetrable, deliberately vague verbiage favored by the EU.

Here’s an interesting word; ‘toilettage’. It doesn’t mean what you think, in fact it’s far worse. Toilettage is the process of minutely examining new laws and treaties to make sure there’s no errors in translation and that they comply with existing legislation.

Can you think of a worse career to have than going through EU papers with a fine tooth comb all day, every day? We can only wonder what the suicide rate is amongst the lost souls who toil at toilettage.

More seriously, he says the wording for the Lisbon treaty was so hideously worded (quite possibly to conceal that it was similar to a previously rejected constitution) that even its proponents in Ireland couldn’t explain it to the public, and it was rejected.

Can we really blame people for not voting for something they couldn’t understand? The Lisbon Treaty would have been much clearer if it had been written by James Joyce.

Sue has spent the last nine months reading IRS tax codes. They appear to have been written by lawyer trolls with no accounting background who are constitutionally incapable of writing a simple declarative sentence. Perhaps they figure they can quit government work then hire out at $750 an hour explaining to others what they wrote.

Perhaps the fightback has already started.The UK Local Government Association recently published a list of 100 words and phrases it wanted banning. These included coterminosity, improvement levers, process driven, and the mystifying term, predictors of beaconicity.

Hmm, let’s hope they don’t start combining them, “Our process driven coterminous improvement levers have reached maximum predictor of beaconicity utilization.”