Pompous Brit-speak

Whilst I am mindful that the British are well within their lawful rights to exercise their discretion in choosing to converse in a language other than plain English and one would not lightly interfere in the exercise of such discretion, it is nonetheless little more than an absurd abundance of pomposity and overly-inflated perception of their true worth that causes them to engage in such verbose and virtually unintelligable bombasity.


You spelled ‘unintelligible’ wrong. God, that’s like raaain on your wedding daaay.

I should add that I am presently researching Hong Kong law to determine whether our extremely over-priced Hong Kong lawyer, who speaks vaguely, refuses to commit and never seems to produce anything for us but invoices and unwanted delay, is in fact lying to me and ripping us off. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that every time I find a court decision that appears to be relevant and may provide the answer, that decision is invariably written in such a perverse, unintelligible style that I end up being none the wiser for it.

So, I understand that Commonwealth lawyers speak that pompous nonsense to avoid their clients actually understanding what they’re saying and recognizing that they’re being lied to and ripped off. But why do the judges do it? I guess just out of a vastly inflated sense of self-worth. That and pompous Brits just love to hear themselves speak, I suppose.

“presently” means “soon”. Surely you mean “currently”?

Toodle pip, old chap!

I can think of a whole bunch of things that are more infuriating.

Ha, you probably can’t even spell “color.”

But I’m on to something aren’t I? Don’t even Brits get sick of how British (or Hong Kong) lawyers and judges speak?

Are you making fun of the way Canadians speak English? God, how infuriating.

No, Mother T.

Seriously? That’s ‘complex’ language? SERIOUSLY? :roflmao:

Er, yes, actually. When on occasion they stoop to your level and say what they think of you in plain English, it’s much more infuriating than when you couldn’t understand them and could at least imagine that it was something polite. :stuck_out_tongue:

Me too. :smiley:

Having to dumb everything down for the Yanks? :wink:

‘dumb everything down’ - I see what you, like, did there?

Marin-county speak or Humboldt county stoner talk?

Having to dumb everything down for the Yanks? :wink:[/quote]

It’s not a matter of dumbing down. It’s a matter of wasting the reader’s time by saying something in 35 words rather than 5, simply because the speaker believes he’s intelligent and important and the reader therefore wants to waste his time reading those 30 extra words.

In the US, concision is generally considered an attribute of good writing, especially in business and the law. Is that not so in the UK?

“presently” means “soon”. Surely you mean “currently”?
Toodle pip, old chap![/quote]

Interesting comment, Chris. I never heard that before. But apparently it’s wrong.

[quote]Main Entry: pres·ent·ly
Pronunciation: \ˈpre-zənt-lē
Function: adverb
Date: 14th century
1 a archaic : at once b : without undue delay : before long
2 : at the present time : now

usage Both senses 1b and 2 are flourishing in current English, but many commentators have objected to sense 2. Since this sense has been in continuous use since the 15th century, it is not clear why it is objectionable. Perhaps a note in the Oxford English Dictionary (1909) that the sense has been obsolete since the 17th century in literary English is to blame, but the note goes on to observe that the sense is in regular use in most English dialects. The last citation in that dictionary is from a 1901 Leeds newspaper, written in Standard English. Sense 2 is most common in contexts relating to business and politics <the fastest-rising welfare cost is Medicaid, presently paid by the states and cities — William Safire>[/quote]

As for the like you know crap, I’m not advocating bad English. I’m advocating good, clear, simple, direct English. Shouldn’t that be considered preferable?

[quote=“Mother Theresa”]
But I’m on to something aren’t I? Don’t even Brits get sick of how British (or Hong Kong) lawyers and judges speak?[/quote]

Not after they turn 11 or 12, no, I don’t think they do.

I think you might have blowed your chance for a spot in the Bush cabinet, seems to me they were real big on not puttin’ up with fancy two-dollar words rustled up just to confuse decent hard workin’ folk. Heck, most of them wouldn’t a knowed an adverb if it walked right up and bought 'em a corn dog!

You’re attributing personality traits onto a person because of their writing style. Thank gaaaawd we don’t do that on the flob!

Not according to your quote. OED (British English) cites it as being used in writing in 1901, apart from biz and politics thickies.


MT, I know you’re not taking me seriously, are you? After the winky emoticon and everything? It’s like you said: incompetent ambulance-chasers trying to justify their disproportionate remuneration.

An over-priced lawyer who speaks vaguely, refuses to commit and produces nothing but invoices! :astonished: I refuse to accept that such a thing exists.

Yeah, and they want to make it seem like they’re worth their big salaries, too.