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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".