Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Magazine article The Spectator

Diary of a Notting Hill Nobody

Article excerpt

MONDAY A strange post-Manchester memo has arrived with a list of approved adjectives. I don't know what was wrong with all the old adjectives but apparently we have to use new ones -- 'new' is one of them, in fact. Poppy claims that 'new' is, in fact, old, which confuses me somewhat.

There are two pages of 'words you may like to include when writing press releases and speeches for members of the front bench in future'. I know what 'you may like to' means around here, and it isn't optional. Hey -- I sound quite seasoned. Anyway the words are all stupid. I don't know how I'm going to get them into my statement on bird flu. In the priority list are: 'beautiful, lovely, brilliant, great, inspiring, amazing, modern and young'.

Suggested phrases include 'cleaner, brighter, greener', whatever that means (I think it may be something to do with Caroline Spelman), while 'caring and compassionate' comes as standard, as does 'change', which has a suggested tally of 27 for a keynote address.

Apparently, it's all been scientifically worked out and will make people think we are all these things. How very odd.

TUESDAY We were all ignoring them, but today we get a stern talking to for not obeying the guidelines.

An internal audit called Adjective Watch has been launched. Nigel says we must all show we are changing and orders us to start using the 'lift' words in our everyday speech. He tells me, 'Tammy [I hate it when he calls me that], go and get me a lovely latte from the inspiring Starbucks coffee outlet downstairs. …

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