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Lies, Damned Lies and the Banned List

John Rentoul

Rollercoaster 300x225 Lies, Damned Lies and the Banned ListThe Commisariat has been falling behind in its illiberal duties, having failed to ban anything for a month. So hear ye.

1. Lies, Damned Lies and Something Else.

2. “Take”, as in “my take on David Cameron’s cat”. Thank you to petitioner David Mills.

3. “Goes to”, “speaks to”. Nigel Fletcher.

4. “Up close and personal.” Richard Tolbart. As I wrote in The Independent last week, “Google tells me that Up Close and Personal was a 1996 film. It also tells me that there was a 2002 film starring Jennifer Lopez called Enough.”

5. “A roller coaster ride,” for anything that has some variety. Richard Tolbart.

6. “Push-back.” Noun. To mean “resistance”. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, this means you. Neil Herrington.

7. “A country mile.” Pablo Byrne.

8. “Evidence base”, instead of “evidence”. James Chapman.

9. Putting Herod in charge of child protection/nursery school. Tom Harris. We have banned putting Dracula in charge of a blood bank, but seem to have overlooked its equally annoying twin.

10. Battle with cancer, or any other disease. Lisa Markwell.

The previous batch of banning orders was issued in the form of a Top 10 in New Review, The Independent on Sunday magazine:

1. Built environment. Thanks to my friend Magda Sachs for numbers one to six.

2. Innocent children. As opposed to complicit children, about whom we are indifferent.

3. Vision and visioning. As in, “What is your vision for this piece of work?” and “We are visioning the piece of work.”

4. Piece of work. As in, “I am doing a piece of work around troubled families.” (“Around”, used in this way, has already been banned.)

5. Talking in the present tense about past events. As in, “Richard the Third then moves his army to the north…”

6. Embedded.

7. Zeroise. Nominated by Citizen Sane.

8. Sneak preview. It’s invariably just a preview. Thanks to Mike Higgins. Worse is “sneak peek”. And worst of all is “sneak peak”.

9. Wrap-around. To describe anything other than packaging. From Dan Fox.

10. Stand idly by.

I have also banned 10 phrases over-used on restaurant menus.

The book can be bought here. Banned List updates collected here.

Tagged in:
  • porkfright

    No. 996.”The Banned List”. Jean Paul Richter.

  • Pacificweather

    What about “Blair is a piece of work” for the creature Blair as one would have it.


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