Month: June 2012

Churchill on Jargon: The Language as We Murder It

Churchill on Jargon: The Language as We Murder It

A friend sends a let­ter from a firm of “plan­ners” to his home­own­ers asso­ci­a­tion, rec­om­mend­ing its ser­vices and thoughts on assist­ing the association—so wool­ly a doc­u­ment that he won­dered what Churchill would make of it.

The let­ter con­tains phras­es such as: “The com­mit­tee should be tasked with the plan­ning and com­ple­tion of an inclu­sive and pro­duc­tive process….” And: “…gen­er­al under­stand­ing that will then offer guid­ance for the imple­men­ta­tion com­mit­tee…” And: “…an out­ward and hon­est mar­ket­ing posi­tion that will help it to achieve its goals…”

(“Tasked,” of course, is one of those nouns con­vert­ed to a verb by Mod­ern Newspeak.…

Read More Read More

Churchill’s Brandy? Not Really….

Churchill’s Brandy? Not Really….

Brandy Ban­ter: The Evening Stan­dard described ArArAt Armen­ian brandy, once reserved for Com­mu­nist par­ty elite. It was “the brandy that Stal­in served Churchill” accord­ing to con­sumer busi­ness edi­tor Jonathan Prynn:

The prime min­is­ter enjoyed ArArAt brandy when it was served by Stal­in at the Yal­ta con­fer­ence in Feb­ru­ary 1945. After the Sec­ond World War, the Sovi­et leader arranged for Churchill to be sent 400 bot­tles every year.

This seems high­ly doubt­ful. There is no record in the Churchill Archives Cen­tre of even a bot­tle of brandy being sent to Churchill—although he did com­pli­ment Stal­in on an Armen­ian brandy served at Yal­ta.…

Read More Read More

60 Years On: “A Sparkling Presence at its Summit”

60 Years On: “A Sparkling Presence at its Summit”

“We may think of Churchill as an ami­able or even rev­er­ent agnos­tic, who con­ceived of him­self not as a pil­lar of the church but per­haps as a fly­ing but­tress. He did not invoke the Deity casu­al­ly or cyn­i­cal­ly, a fact which con­fers its own inter­est upon his touch­ing and heart­felt reply to the Queen’s let­ter fol­low­ing his retire­ment as prime min­is­ter in April 1955.

“The monar­chy sig­ni­fied for Churchill some­thing of infi­nite val­ue, at once numi­nous and lumi­nous; and if you will allow the remark in paren­the­sis, ladies and gen­tle­men, do you not some­times long for some­one at the sum­mit of our pub­lic life who can think and write at that lev­el?” —Pro­fes­sor David Dilks

Our Island no longer holds the same author­i­ty or pow­er that it did in the days of Queen Vic­to­ria.…

Read More Read More