Avoid Them Like The Plague!
From 'affluent society' to 'zero-sum game', Nigel Fountain lays bare the origins, meaning and misuse of around 150 familiar phrases. Whether explaining the technical basis of 'pushing the envelope', the business credentials of 'bottom line' or the former military efficacy of 'heads-up', the book offers cogent arguments for cleaning up our vocabulary and simply abandoning some of the worst offenders. Previously in Postscript as The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.
A Miscellany of Very British Top Tens, from Politics to Pop
'Panther spotted in Devon' makes it to number two in the list of 'Recurring news stories' and The Doors are number one in 'Most overrated 1960s bands'. This collection of amusingly debatable lists from John Rentoul's Independent on Sunday column ranges from 'Lost positives' (such as ert, gorm and gusted) to 'Films panned as turkeys that are actually quite good'.
and Other Oxymorons
From ‘alcohol-free wine’ in the Home Comforts chapter to ‘serially monogamous’ in Uncomplicated Relationships, Simon Brett presents a collection of oxymorons – ‘the undiscovered beauties of the English Language’ – that includes the obvious (‘safe bet’), those that need a bit of explanation (victimless crime), and some tongue-in-cheek (Young Conservative).