A brief list of misused English terminology in EU publications [PDF] is a fascinating look at the emerging dialect of English that is emerging out of the EU bureaucracy, in which odd bureaucratic language has to be translated from and to many languages. It's a good window into concepts that are common in one nation's bureaucratic tradition, but not others':
Explanation: the most common meaning of ‘dispose of’ is ‘to get rid of’ or ‘to throw
away’; it never means ‘to have’, ‘to possess’ or ‘to have in one’s possession’. Thus, the
sentence ‘The managing authority disposes of the data regarding participants.’ does not
mean that it has them available; on the contrary, it means that it throws them away or
deletes them. Similarly, the sentence below does not mean: ‘the Commission might not
have independent sources of information’, it means that the Commission is not permitted
to discard the sources that it has.
Example: ‘The Commission may not be able to assess the reliability of the data provided
by Member States and may not dispose of independent information sources (see paragraph
As Bruce Sterling says, "I would not expect 'Brussels English' to get any closer to grammatically correct British English; on the contrary I would expect it in future to drift into areas of machine translation jargon, since that’s a lot cheaper than hiring human translators who are as skilled as the author of this document."
Web Semantics: Brussels English
Start your own odditorium by spending $15,000 on “Mike & Ike – they look alike,” a purportedly real two-headed calf taxidermy mount that was previously part of the the Museum of Lost Arts – International Historical Exhibition. Only available for local pick up in New Castle, Pennsylvania. From the eBay auction description: This is a […]
Robbo writes, “Peter Sellers recorded a series of performances, in a variety of voices, reciting the lyrics of popular Beatles songs. It is demented weirdness – and perfect in all its madness.”
Bubble porn is where a non-nude photo or video gets a swiss-cheese-like opaque overlay that gives the illusion of nudity. Since its meme heyday, the practice, known as bubbling, now uses translucent overlays that make the effect even more striking.
Holiday shopping is in full swing, and the Striiv Touch is one of the best gift ideas I’ve landed on. Its simple design works for females and males, and its wide range of features makes it suitable for even the non-fitness enthusiasts in your life.Unlike traditional fitness trackers, the Striiv Touch also acts as a smartwatch. It […]
The Pocket Tripod PRO had massive Kickstarter success in 2013, raising almost $85,000 in a single month. But this isn’t just another case of pre-release product hype. This ingenious little device folds out from a credit-card-shaped plastic slab into a sturdy stand with a surprisingly wide range of motion. In portrait orientation, your phone slides […]
Loot Crate is a totally different kind of subscription service that mails subscribers monthly boxes filled with curated geek, pop culture, and gamer paraphernalia. Its cult following awaits a box every month filled with everything from bobble heads to T-shirts to special edition collectibles. But nothing gets Loot Crate fans as excited as the limited […]