The ever changing shape of language.

Ever since studying law, I have always been fascinated by language and its constantly shifting currency in our culture.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the worlds of finance and politics. 
Last year, for instance, supermarkets were accused of ‘greedflation’ while Labour continue to woo the ‘greybelt’, some prominent members of whom fell victim to ‘debanking’. The Shadow Chancellor promises ‘securonomics’ (whatever they are) if her party forms the next Government, while the US President can’t understand why ‘Bidenomics’ doesn’t make him more popular in the polls. 

Back home, our current Government seem very keen on deckchair re-arranging on the good ship ‘Tory’. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been split up yet again (one yearns for the more simple focus suggested by the old Board of Trade), the Department for Energy and Climate Change has now become the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, while the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has dropped the ‘Digital’. (No, me neither).
The Treasury followed its rather empty Edinburgh Reforms on financial services with a Mansion House Compact, presumably to make it sound as if the pension funds they were addressing there had actually agreed to the Chancellor’s plea to commit more investment in UK plc. Meanwhile, the Windsor Framework on Northern Ireland was stalled by the Stormont Brake but never mind, the Bletchley Declaration (after the AI summit at the wartime code-breaking centre) will surely help find the solution to all such problems in Mr. Sunak’s ‘Unicorn Kingdom’.  
But nothing baffles more than seemingly pointless re-brandings. Recently, Sensyne Health has become Arcturis, National Express Group is now Mobico, Provident Financial is now Vanquis and, to much ridicule, Aberdeen Standard Life has become the unpronounceable ‘abdrn’. Across the pond, we all know Twitter has become ‘X’, but after all this time on Planet Woke, Disney’s decision to rename the seven dwarves the seven ‘magical creatures’ and Coca-Cola’s changing of Lilt to Fanta Pineapple & Grapefruit seems a little half-hearted. Never mind, you have got to admire the French style: in Epernay, the centre of French champagne production, they have rebranded its water ‘La Cuvée’. 
Other wondrous euphemisms that have crept into the language include such as when Elon Musk’s Starship rockets suffered ‘rapid unscheduled disassembly’ (twice), something that sounds as fraught as that celebrity couple’s ‘conscious uncoupling’. Zoom has declared ‘the office’ outdated, preferring an ‘engagement hub’, from which the practise of ‘quiet quitting’ – previously known as slacking – apparently needs ‘calling out’. Presumably, this has all been contributing to the ‘Great Resignation’. 
Of course, we have to move with the times and Her Majesty’s Theatre becoming His Majesty’s etc. marks a natural evolution. But for the French to rename Le Touquet airfield ‘Elizabeth II International’ felt, well, a bit lèse-majesté. As for the Brecon Beacons becoming ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’…don’t get me started. 
My sons recent return from school for the Easter holidays after ending their ‘Spring Term’ - which began in early January – always strikes me as a little disingenuous. Apparently, what used to be called the Lent Term was felt to sound too gloomy for the little darlings. 
As if they noticed or cared.


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