What a load of old resources: Linguistic engineering

Posted on by Mike Evans

In a crafty plan to encourage recycling of waste, a committee of MPs (or, as we are now expected to call them, "lawmakers") has suggested that the word "waste" be banned. Instead, our old plastic trays and other rubbish should be renamed "resources" so we will give it more respect.

What a load of old resources. If this crazy bit of linguistic engineering finds favour, I guarantee that within ten years the useful and distinct noun "resource" will become synonymous with "rubbish". Lawmakers will then have to dream up some new euphemism for all that resource lying around in the street. I hope someone with half an ounce of common sense finds the will to resource this bit of arrant nonsense.

While they are at it, perhaps they could also resource that egregious coinage "lawmakers". Many useful words and expressions creep back to Britain from the USA in order to enhance our language. But lawmakers is not one of them. In one sense, however, it is appropriate: Lawmakers are just about as effective and respected as rainmakers. The only difference is that lawmakers have the resources.

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