The worst phrases of 2014

THE Plain English Foundation has released its annual list of the year’s worst words and phrases, with 2014 particularly rich in euphemism and spin.

This year the phrase “conscious uncoupling”, used by Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin when the couple announced their separation, topped the list

Silly sign of the year:

Potential for dangerous aquatic organisms

Gold Coast City Council erected some helpful warning signs about the “potential for dangerous aquatic organisms”. According to Daryl McPhee of Bond University, this means the waterways could be “physically penetrate[d]” by bull sharks. Luckily, the sign included a picture.

Mixed metaphor of the year:

“Let’s fix our roof while the sun is shining because we’re on a course to hit the rocks and we have to fix it.”

The Australian National Commission of Audit member Amanda Vanstone clarified Australia’s “budget emergency”.

Grammatical error of the year:

Sorry for any incontinence caused

An East London Tesco store made the news last July when its management posted an unusual apology for its broken freezers: “We are trying to get this problem fix as soon as possible and are really sorry for any incontinence caused, Management

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43 thoughts on “The worst phrases of 2014

  1. Gotta love Tony Abbot’s ‘where are these words coming from’ Putin shirtfront Gaff:
    “Look I’m going to shirt-front mister Putin…..aaahhh you bet you are…ah you bet I am….”

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      • Yeah but we’re you all looking forward to the physical confrontation between the former Oxford boxer and the former KGB black belt ??

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      • No. I was pointing out a word stumble….you know spat it out as it was fed to him “you, I mean I”.

        Of course this language clearly isn’t in the diplomatic dictionary with a Russian Embassy official responding in the literal with “While Abbott may be a fit cyclist, the Russian president was a judo champion.”

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  2. I think this was the worst politician phrase.

    ‘Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.’

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    • American politicians do this LARGE. I can’t stand it when people do this as justification for a personal viewpoint. Want say it, then own it yourself I say.

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      • Particularly George W.

        George W. Bush is particularly famous for his malapropisms, and not without good reason. It is thus not surprising to learn that malapropisms (and other similar verbal slips) are often known by the name Bushisms in the USA. Here’s a selection of George W. Bushisms:

        “Oftentimes, we live in a processed world, you know, people focus on the process and not results.”
        “The law I sign today directs new funds… to the task of collecting vital intelligence… on weapons of mass production.”
        “It will take time to restore chaos and order.”
        “They have miscalculated me as a leader.”
        “Natural gas is hemispheric… because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”
        “I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself, but for predecessors as well.”
        “We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.”
        “We are making steadfast progress.”

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  3. A review of the United Nations for 2014.

    “FOOD AID FOR CHRISTIANS CUT OFF – 1.7 million in jeopardy as UN and USA halt food shipments to Middle East”

    “Of $5.4 billion pledged for Gaza, only a fraction delivered” – Reuters

    Top 10 Worst U.N. Decisions Of 2014

    10. U.N. Elects Iran to Women’s Rights Commission
    9. U.N. Elects Elects New Human Rights Council Members: China, Russia, Cuba and Saudi Arabia
    8. U.N. Creates Biased Inquiry into Hamas-Israel War, Declares Israel Guilty in Advance
    7. U.N. Picks Genocidal Sudan to Oversee Human Rights Activists
    6. U.N. “Sees No Objection” to Praising Qatar’s Human Rights Record
    5. As 9/11 Truther Richard Falk Exits, U.N. Names His Wife and Co-Author to Top Human Rights Post
    4. UNRWA Hands Rockets in Gaza Schools Back to Hamas Terrorists
    3. U.N. Names Anti-Israel Judge to Head Gaza Inquiry
    2. U.N. rewards murderous Syrian regime with top post on human rights committee
    1. U.N. Adopts 20 Resolutions on Israel vs. 4 on Rest of World Combined

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/unwatch/top-10-worst-un-decisions-of-2014-16hdk

    Also it seems that the unaccountable, unelected United Nations seem to have money for causes that appeal to them but not for Syrian Christians.

    “The United Nations is a hotbed for corruption and abuse. It is opaque, diplomatically immune, largely unaccountable – and has come to regard billions in U.S. tax dollars not as a privilege to be earned, but as an entitlement.
    The UN does not issue clear reports to donor nations on how their money is spent. That includes the United States, the U.N.’s biggest donor, which bankrolls roughly 25% of the U.N.’s soaring system-wide spending. In Fiscal 2010 (the last year for which the U.S. administration has provided any total figures), U.S. taxpayers contributed more than $7.7 billion to an incoherent U.N. system-wide budget, which by some estimates has continued to expand to well over $30 billion per year.
    – See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/united-nations-corruption-and-the-need-for-reform/#sthash.coW9MbsQ.dpuf

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      • Even if that’s so Dom. That fact that they have so many for Israel and zip for other more worthy countries is very telling.

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      • Well if they are not actioned they will tend to accumulate. 🙂 They have many version of the same resolution. It gets ignored so they come out with a new slightly watered down version.They have resolution going back to 1967.

        Iraqi had a one resolution to remove WMD. They lost hundreds of thousands of children in the medical sanctions that followed despite the inspectors say we can’t find WMDs. That is one resolution but hundreds of thousands killed. In the end it was a resolution based on nothing.

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      • Besides the fact that I don’t believe Israel is anywhere near the problem of these other countries (but for some reaon gets singled out), it seems that the UN’s reputation of being a toothless tiger is for a reason. I personally think the UN is corrupt and was possibly a good idea, but it needs to be disbanded.

        ” For those who follow the UN, a recent Associated Press investigation that the UN “cut back sharply on investigations into corruption and fraud within its ranks, shelving cases involving the possible theft or misuse of millions of dollars” is not surprising.

        Even those who applaud the work the UN does are honest enough to admit that there is much wrong about the way it behaves and its moral authority.
        When its founders met in San Francisco in 1945 they had noble aspirations in mind, hoping, as its charter states, to “save future generations from the scourge of war”. Sadly, the news is not good. When it comes to global peace and security- the purpose for which it was founded- any assessment of the UN’s merits must reflect on its tattered record and its series of failures that have cost millions of lives. Indeed, there are many grounds for reproach and regret in the body’s conduct in the face of ethnic cleansing.
        The UN’s hand wringing and passive response to the genocide in Darfur, where hundreds of thousands have died and 1.7 million have been driven from their home, has further damaged its fragile credibility. China and Russia, members of the Security Council, reject even threatening sanctions against Sudan because they do not want to jeopardize their commercial relations with the Sudanese government (China has huge oil interests in Southern Sudan).
        Imagine how many lives could have been saved and can be saved with a modest UN force on the ground.
        Equally appalling was the foot dragging that led the UN to sit out the terrible genocide in Rwanda in 1994, where close to a million people were shot and clubbed to death. General Roméo Dallaire, the Canadian commander of the UN force stationed in Rwanda, told the UN that Hutu extremists were getting ready for a campaign of “extermination.” His proposal to confiscate the weapons stockpiled by the Hutu so as to stop the plan was vetoed by the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Once the killing began, Dallaire could have used the forces under his command to stop the massacres, but was instructed by the UN to only evacuate foreigners but no Rwandans.” http://www.theage.com.au/it-pro/is-is-time-for-the-un-to-be-scrapped-20100125-mtxy.html

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      • Don’t get me wrong. The UN is hopeless. One of the reason it is hopeless is it has let Israel escalate in violence to the stage where it can now blow up kids playing football on the beach and nothing happens.

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      • Dom the point is what is the UN doing about the other countries? It’s not balanced. I don’t want to just hear about Israel.
        Where is the money they get?
        Where is the accountability?

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      • Well we all know what the US via UN did to Iraq for those pesky WMDs in the 90s killing all those children with their medical sanctions.

        The UN was not morally bankrupt enough to be pushed into doing it again in the following decade so the US illegally went alone. They received a slap on the wrist from the UN for it. Another country would have received crippling sanctions.

        It was found that all the WMDs were remove in the early 90s. That is why the weapon inspectors could not find any. None hiding under Saddams bed in his palace or the other crazy theories or the blatant lies about trucks holding chemical weapons.

        The UN for the 22nd time have said to the US to end the embargo against Cuba. Cuba along with Iran and North Korea are the remaining countries that do not have their banks controlled by Rothschild. The US don’t like that.

        Iran has UN resolution for nuclear weapons. Last time Iran attacked another country was 214 years ago. The US killed hundreds of thousand of civilians with it’s nuclear bombs.Israel has said they have their nuclear weapons pointed at Europe in case they step in to stop the genocide of Palestinians. No resolutions there.

        http://www.rense.com/general87/destroy.htm

        Ignored resolutions on other countries end up with crippling sanctions that in at least one case was proved to have killed civilians.Israel ignore sanctions and nothing happens.

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    • “Iraq’s era under President Saddam Hussein was notorious for its severe violations of human rights. Secret police, torture, mass murder, rape, deportations, forced disappearances, assassinations, chemical warfare, and the destruction of southern Iraq’s marshes were some of the methods the country’s Ba’athist government used to maintain control. The total number of deaths related to torture and murder during this period are unknown. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International issued regular reports of widespread imprisonment and torture.”

      But America are the baddies?

      Cuba had nuclear missiles aimed at America didn’t they? Didn’t they also just take over American’s businesses? Who would want to deal with them when they have been under a dictator for so long. Having said that I’m happy that it’s being lifted. I have hope for the Cuban people and I agree that it did go on for too long.

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      • “Some claim the Rothschilds own half the world’s wealth. If they do, it’s only in the same way that you do. Anyone with an interest-bearing bank account owns shares in whatever funds their bank invests in. Those funds own shares in other funds and public companies, and so on. At some level, virtually every financial entity owns, and is owned by, any other entity, in every country. It’s exactly like the degrees of Kevin Bacon. The notion that anyone could “control the world’s finances” is ludicrous.

        There is no longer any such thing as a monolithic House of Rothschild with connections to any significant number of all the scores of today’s independent Rothschild business ventures. The closest thing is Rothschilds Continuation Holdings AG, a Swiss company that manages interests in many Rothschild-founded institutions. There are no longer any Rothschild family members on its board (the last having retired in 2011), though about eight Rothschilds are believed to own stakes in it (like many holding companies, it’s privately held, so its records are not public). Its other owners include Rabobank and Hong Kong based Jardine Matheson Holdings. The Rothschild funds it manages now focus on mergers and acquisitions. Make no mistake, it’s a large and successful company; but with billions in assets, it’s a relatively small fish in the sea of world financial institutions with trillions in assets, including Deutsche Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, HSBC Holdings, BNP Paribas, Japan Post Bank, Crédit Agricole Group, Barclays PLC, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Royal Bank of Scotland Group, JP Morgan Chase & Co., and many others. Anyone trying to point the finger at the scattered Rothschilds as “controlling” world banks has an awfully tall order. That little factoid is about 100 years out of date.”

        I think the Jews controlling the world’s money myth needs to be buried. I think the United Nations are trying to take that honour.

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      • Israel is just fighting for it’s right to exist. I would be trying to scare people who want to annihilate me too. Let’s not pretend any of their neighbours want peace with them. Yeah sure. Such sweet nurturing and peace loving neighbours like Iran’s nutbag “kill all Zionists” Ahmadinejad(thankfully gone), or genocidal Iraq, Turkey’s current President Erdogan who says Israel surpasses Hitler for barbarism (I mean, really). Erdogan who uses tear gas, beatings and hosings on his own people – you never hear about Netanyahu doing that to his own people. Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad (another one who has his own people killed) says of Israel that it has been a threat since it’s inception.

        I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t errrm trust them either. It’s like a fox saying to the chicken, just open the door to the coop, you can trust me.

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  4. Hey Dom,

    Just to continue our discussion on alcohol.

    My understanding of your position is that while alcohol in moderation has some benefits, excessive use of alcohol or abuse of alcohol has many bad consequences both for the individual and society. And because of that we should steer clear of alcohol.

    I hope that’s a fair summary, while moderate use might be ok, extreme use or abuse causes problems therefore we shouldn’t go near it.

    I was wondering what would happen if you applied the same kind of criteria to religious faith ??

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    • Hi Bubba

      We are actually told not to be extreme.

      The Prophet also said: “Be moderate. Practice religion commensurate with your physical strength. Offer prayers in the morning and evening and in some parts of the evening and in some parts of the night. Follow the middle course; you will reach the goal” (Bukhari).

      Please note the moderate term here is not what is used today. Today moderate means not practicing.

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      • Hey Dom,

        What you’re told isn’t the issue though is it? I’ve never met anybody who’s been told to abuse alcohol. You’ll never ever meet anybody who says “I just spoke to my doctor and he told me I should get black-out drunk a few times a week”

        The issue is that, despite any benefits, the ‘substance’ in question IS subject to abuse, excesses and extreme use.

        And much like alcohol the world is replete with examples of the highly negative effects of abuse or extreme religious faith.

        When it comes to alcohol you seem quite happy to insist we stay well clear of it.

        So why shouldn’t the same apply to religious faith?

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      • It is the believing in God thing Bubba. God told us what God expects from us. We strive to do that. God told us to stay away from alcohol, unclean meat, usury and gambling. We strive to do that. We do our best, that is it.

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      • Hey Dom,

        Well your version of god did. It’s hardly a universal.

        So with both alcohol and religion at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what the harm or benefits are. You’ll just do as your told regardless ????

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      • Hey again Dom,

        The miracle where Jesus turned water into wine – what’s the Islamic take on that ?

        thanks

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      • Hey you probably believe insomething comes from nothing because that is what the scientists are saying. You believe they will be able to prove it one day. 🙂

        Everyone has faith. Some have a lot stronger faith than others.

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      • Hey Dom,

        Now that’s once heck of a weird segue thanks for telling what I believe. Although as I understand it something coming from nothing is more the standard sorta biblical version of creation isn’t it?

        As I understand what (at least some) scientists are saying is that ‘nothing’ may not exist. There have certainly been some interesting debates on the topic. Stenger has done some good basic stuff available on line.

        As to everybody having faith how many folk did you survey to come up with that one or is it just conjecture??

        And if we do all have faith does it mean we must blindly follow that faith without making any judgements of our own?

        Hey Tony,

        I’m curious as to the Islamic take on water-to-wine in that I understand their religion venerates Jesus. I’m wondering how they handle the discrepancy.

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      • You do come across as condescending sometimes Bubba. I am not sure if it is on purpose or not. You just have to put up with us illogical theists.

        It would seem you are trying to manipulate me into another of those bible the word of God clashes again. You are a bit transparent 🙂

        Concerning the water and wine miracle. Alcohol was not banned in the time of Jesus pbuh.

        There was a pastor called Stanley Sjoberg that stated he went to Israel and tasted the best non alcoholic wine he has ever tasted. His theory was that Jesus pbuh changed the water into a great tasting non alcoholic wine. Would be a good move to get people to love a wine that is non alcoholic. Who knows, Israel is making great non alcoholic wine now so maybe it had an impact… or miracle as it were.

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      • Hey Dom,

        I sound condescending. Really, this is from the guy who started his last post by telling me what I believe.

        Non alcoholic wine would have been amazing for the time although you never know the wedding party did state it was the best wine of the night.

        Hey Tony,

        How do I know your real name, have we met ?

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      • Hey Dom,

        It’s the medium as well, this is a somewhat unnatural way to convey expression.

        But I am genuinely curious, intrigued even, as to how folk of faith reconcile the discrepancies. So I was wondering your take on the water-into-wine.

        Of course 2000 odd years ago the wine might have been safer to drink than the water.

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      • Yep although if you think about it at the time alcoholic wine was OK. If you and I were sitting around in AD 01 neither of us would think anything of drinking wine with alcohol in it. As I understand it neither the Jewish or Christian religions have any generic prohibition against drinking wine. The rest of the wine served at the wedding was clearly alcoholic and nobody (including Jesus) had any problems with the guests drinking it.

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      • Well the Jewish and Christian religions have a rule on getting drunk. Muslims used to also drink wine in the early days. As it was very difficult fro people to drink without getting drunk and getting the harmful effects of alcohol; alcohol was taken away from us as being lawful.

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      • Hey Dom,

        “Well the Jewish and Christian religions have a rule on getting drunk. ”

        Can’t have been that strong a rule if they drank all the wine at the wedding Jesus was at. Heck it was even remarked that usually they brought out the cheap wine when the guests had had too much to drink to tell the difference.

        And wouldn’t that depend on the quality of the wine ?? I can recall when I was a youngster a brewed ginger beer that was about .002% alcohol. I don’t think that it would be possible to drink something like that and become intoxicated.

        Back in the 80’s there were soft drinks that had a higher alcohol content that Swan Special Light
        http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=0zFWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=IucDAAAAIBAJ&pg=5694%2C1277762

        Who knows what the strength of the wine was at the time or how much it varied from producer to producer.

        But there are some beverages which are alcoholic and are very difficult to drink and become drunk. Even now excepting the “perilous whisky” and the like there are plenty of alcoholic beverages that can be moderately consumed.

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      • I don’t know why you are questioning me on biblical scripture. If people were not allowed to be drunk by the law then the wedding would either have been a tame episode or Jesus was not there. I went down the route of a tame episode. If you want to be divisive you can go down the other route. 🙂

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      • Hey Dom,

        I’m not trying to be difficult (although that may just mean that I can be difficult without trying) I’m just working with the material at hand.

        Which in this case is John 2:1-11

        From this we get the info that:
        – all the wine at the wedding had already been drunk
        – After the miracle the master of the banquet points out that “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” (New international version)

        So we have a wedding where they have drunk the bar dry and usually at this time of the proceedings the guests are at the stage that they can’t tell the good wine from the cheap stuff.

        That doesn’t sound like a tame episode to me and yet Jesus was supposed to have been there. AND he was there willingly providing more wine for the crowd.

        Like

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