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November 14th 2009

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    I have always understood why French language purists objected to "Le Weekend" as a description of their Samedi and Dimanche.  I too would remove words from the English language.

   Very easy to think of "Le Weekend" as being a victim of xenophobic impulse.  A foreign expression entering sacred texts.  Then follows an understanding of language as a moving part in culture.  Something that changes through time.

   But what is the excuse for the word 'metrics' so often heard during briefings by members of both military and economic professions.   When, I wonder, did 'metrics' leave poetry to join with the mathematics of killing and greed.   

    

    

    Possibly the answer can be traced to those moments of cultural stress that resulted so quickly in the word 'warrior' rejoining a panoply of goodness that once lay amongst the long gone of medieval times.  These days it is our 'warriors' do our killing for us, no longer our 'citizen soldiers'.  And somehow this reflects the mind that can take 'metrics' from its home in poetry, by adding an 's' to metric, and career to killing.

    I know there is a quarrel here, because 'metric' is measurement and 'metrics' is measurements.  But this doesn't stop me from owning a sense of loss, a sense of a word stolen by the inventors of 'sitrep' and 'GNP'.   

    However, in pursuit of that goal of searching for words we can all agree should be removed from vocabulary, I offer 'pinky' and 'lunch' and 'prosody'.     

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tim candler

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(Battle of Maldon