Alas, poor English

English is going to hell in a handbasket, hastened to its destination by military and quasi-military law enforcement-speak.

An actual quote from FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon, courtesy of today’s news (I am not making this up):

They were about to go to a phase where they would attempt to surveil targets, establish a regimen of attack and acquire the resources necessary to effectuate the attacks.

Now I know how the Victorians felt, trying to stamp out burgle and and other vulgarisms. I must be getting old.



  1. Mouse

    I don’t think the Victorians managed to stamp out burgle. You think that you’re old, eh? I still can’t figure out what bling means!

  2. Michael Stokley

    This is depressing.

  3. Mouse

    Katja, I left three comments on this site the other day, but I must have done it wrong! One was about the site looking good and I liked it better because reading your posts was easier with the wider text lines. Then I commented on packaging being awful these days, especially because I can’t imagine that the cost of the increased security packaging outweighs the cost of theft. And lastly, I asked if the Victorians really did manage to stamp out the word “burgle”?

  4. Katja (Post author)

    Mouse, thank you for letting me know. When I updated WordPress, the spam filter was also updated, and it flagged your comments. I de-junked them and will look through the rest to make sure no other comments were lost.

    The Victorians did not succeed in stamping out burgle; like impact-as-a-verb and incent-as-a-verb, it has taken on a life of its own. Which is good, really – it shows that English is a vibrant, changing language.

  5. mdmhvonpa

    Double plus good.

  6. Patricia Tryon

    Alas, poor “impact”! Twice in the past week have I heard further desecration: impactful.


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