UK paperback

Fully refreshed

And out of a job

Concerned members of the Royal Institution have come up with a splendid new euphemism:

members will be asked to vote to pass three motions: first, that the trustees explain the decision to abolish the post of director; second, the introduction of a bylaw allowing a meeting to “fully refresh” the council; and third, that the council should be fully refreshed, and a new transitional council be appointed. ((Thanks to Judith Weingarten.))

I don’t suppose that the current members of the council will be lulled by this delicate Unspeak into a false sense of security, perhaps believing that a motion to fully refresh them equates to a proposal that they be furnished with thoroughly satisfying quantities of tea and cake?

  1. 1  Peter Robins  March 17, 2010, 1:08 pm 

    It sounds like a euphemism of another sort: “You must have been fully refreshed when you made that decision.”

  2. 2  Ricardo  March 17, 2010, 3:14 pm 

    Sounds like Stalinism after a New Labour makeover.

    If a purge is “refreshment” what would being sent into (internal) exile be?

  3. 3  Andrew Bartlett  March 17, 2010, 3:31 pm 

    Extreme gardening leave.

  4. 4  democracy_grenade  March 17, 2010, 3:41 pm 

    If a purge is “refreshment” what would being sent into (internal) exile be?

    “Managed urban decongestion”? I’m presuming that the English analogue for Siberia is somewhere like the Yorkshire Dales. And then the acronym would be appropriate, since that’s precisely what those re-settled under the scheme would be seeing a lot of.

  5. 5  Andrew Bartlett  March 17, 2010, 3:46 pm 

    Or perhaps, if we couple the hard labour with re-education – Outward Bound Team Building.

  6. 6  richard  March 17, 2010, 4:18 pm 

    Refreshed in this sense makes me think of screen refresh or refresh rate – an operation fundamental to the machine’s proper functioning, analogous to “reloading.” It would be interesting to look at the post-refresh state and see what’s moved.

    I also like the implication that council members go stale.

    Sorry, I can’t bring the funny today. Outward Bound Team Building is genius: it perfectly captures the status slide all such euphemisms suffer as soon as they enter the public consciousness: Outward Bound is, I believe, a euphemism for “special needs” and Team Building already means “games of humiliation,” right?

  7. 7  KB Player  March 18, 2010, 10:09 pm 

    “Team Building” – when people who have done about eight years training for a prestigious and highly paid career are forced to pass balloons to each other between their knees. “Ritual games of humiliation” is about right.

hit parade

    guardian articles

    older posts