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Monday, February 02, 2009

The rise of the words "not appropriate"

When did the expression "not appropriate" become the all-purpose signifier of disapproval? I just heard it again on the news. It's increasingly applied to everything from intemperate outbursts by radio presenters to child abuse. It's a favourite of apologising officials. There's something very mealy-mouthed and prim about it, isn't there? Presumably it was adopted to avoid an overly-judgmental adjective like "wrong".

5 comments:

  1. Like the use of the word 'issues' instead of 'problems'.

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  2. It isn't an issue; nor is it a problem.

    It's a challenge!

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  3. The world of education may be the root of this - good and bad behaviour replaced by appropriate and inappropriate behaviour - or positive and negative behaviour. Or "challenging" behaviour.
    Anything but "bad".

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  4. Indeed, reading this morning about Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps being caught on camera smoking a bong (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/02/01/michael.phelps.marijuana/index.html). Perhaps what he meant was that, given the fact that it was crack cocaine in the bowl and not marijuana, as everyone assumes, he should have been using a more appropriate tool.

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  5. Clinton re. Lewinki, about 49 seconds into the clip

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7r4e5Wg4PDI

    ReplyDelete