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
Keepalive is Aram Bartholl’s fake hollow boulder in the woods of Neuenkirchen, Germany. It conceals a thermoelectric generator that powers a router configured to serve documents related to wilderness survival. The router switches on if the rock is sufficiently warmed, say by a blazing campfire adjacent to it.
This is a kinkajou, or “honey bear,” a mammal who usually calls the Central and South American rainforests its home. That’s far from Miami, Florida, where one scared the hell out of a 99-year-old woman who woke up to find it sleeping on her chest. The animal ran off into the attic where her son-in-law […]
Jamie Keeton of Evergreen Park, Illinois says he makes $1,000 a day suctioning cans and other objects to his head. He recently took his show to China and says he will soon land a Guinness World Record for the unique talent. “Twenty three years ago, I shaved my head for the first time,” Keeton told […]
You’ve heard the news: cyber security is the new and very scary frontier. Hackers are out there just waiting for you to relax for a second and let them in. But that’s not going to happen to you. With a lifetime premium subscription to ZenMate VPN, you’re completely protected from anyone out there who wants […]
Remember back to the time when people thought java was just a hip way to talk about coffee? Or you vaguely remembered from geography class that it’s an island in the South Pacific? We’ve come a long way since then and now that we’ve rocket blasted into the tech future, you’re going to need to […]
Plastic is so 2013. You don’t want to buy something only to throw it away or lose it and barely care. You like nice things and want to hang onto them. The Plazmatic lighter here is a high quality, high tech alternative to the typical cheap, plastic lighter you get at the old gas station. […]