We writers are very sensitive creatures. Frankly, you only have to look at me to realise that I’m operating on a higher plane than most people. We drift around, thinking exquisite thoughts – more often than not in iambic pentameter – and are physically pained by the use/misuse/abuse of language we encounter in everyday life.
Thus it is that I am suffering – suffering, I tell you – because of the inappropriate use of the word ‘inappropriate’. I come across it an awful lot, too, because I’m a school governor and have to read reams and reams of
utterly boring crap important briefings and policy documents produced by civil servants and apparatchiks whose main aim in life seems to be making it utterly impossible to run a school without falling foul of some new code of practice or filling out forms in quadruplicate – having first completed a risk assessment facilitating the efficient implementation of the government’s excellent and coherent education policies in all our schools.
‘Inappropriate’ looms large in the public sector. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that society as we know it today would fall apart without the word. Cos it’s saying something without saying anything. And I’ll bet you can’t be sued for saying something is inappropriate (I’ll have to check with Moobs on this – although it may be inappropriate to do so).
And since it doesn’t mean anything, ‘inappropriate’ can, paradoxically, mean anything you want it to. So – ‘inappropriate’ – here are some possible interpretations. Feel free to add a few more: stupid, bratty, crap, slutty, boring, smelly, common, foreign, funny, vulgar, intellectual, elitist … the list is, almost by definition, endless.
Now, I may have said something inappropriate in this post – and I just know that picture is – well – inappropriate.
But – you know? I really don’t give a flying