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".


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

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

    It's a challenge!

  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".

  4. Indeed, reading this morning about Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps being caught on camera smoking a bong ( 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.

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