too much typing—since 2003


rated R for some language

I love the phrase "substance abuse" - it has a certain metaphysical vagueness, as if it's a malady from a Philip K. Dick novel. "Controlled substance" is nearly as good: we're not sure what it is, but it's controlled, don't you worry. In the same category is "content provider," even though that one's been commented to death already. And then there's "graphic violence," which in my sometimes overly literalist mind brings about images of triangles brutally puncturing circles or something.

Some of these come from the school of quasi-legalistic jargon that believes any Latinate term is automatically more authoritative than an Anglo term; a popular program in that school would be cop-speak. A friend of mine posted a couple of hilarious examples; one of the better ones involves a person getting out of a car. That's how we'd say it in English. In cop-speak, one "exits the vehicle." Advanced users favor an alternate verb tense: "did exit the vehicle." And the truly gifted, they would write "did proceed to exit the vehicle."

No comments: