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