Benign to Five on obliterating wank language

“It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.”

At least that’s what the character Syme from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four reckons. Syme is a contributor to the Party’s dictionary of Newspeak, the language that will eventually replace standard English, and admits to the protagonist, Winston Smith, that he relishes destroying words.

Of course, Orwell meant Syme’s words to be taken as outrageous sacrilege by his readers. I, however, was recently inspired by them.

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Benign to Five on knowing when to fold ’em

Fishslice1

Fishslice1” by Original uploader was Jcvamp at en.wikipedia (Original text : FreeDigitalPhotos.net) Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.


Is there a more frustrating end to a conversation than “get over it?” Possibly “whatever” or a massive expulsion of wind, but it’s a close-run thing. “Get over it” is a favourite of fuckwits the English-speaking world over, a way of losing an argument without technically losing an argument.

If you’ve ever been told to “build a bridge”, “move on” or “harden up”, this column is dedicated to you.

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Benign to Five on dealing with difficult people

Difficult people are a dime a dozen, aren’t they? That’s less than one cent each, and still you’re probably paying too much.

People who use words like “douche” and “awesome” are difficult. People who speak loudly on trams are difficult. People who own Chapel Street bars are difficult. Shiny faced, purveyors of anger with persecution complexes are difficult. Wealthy people who say things like “If only I had that much money” are difficult. A majority of people are difficult.

So when the opportunity arose to attend a training course in learning how to deal with them, I screamed “You beauty!” in a stranger’s face and threw my coffee in the air. It probably landed on someone – I don’t really know.

Anyway, after I’d done the course, I wrote a column about it:

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The Haught guide to “learnings”

Image: Ben Tyers, 2014