Abandon All Fear

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Posts Tagged ‘apologies’

[Doublespeak] Inferred and Implied Meanings

Posted by Lex Fear on January 9, 2006

We currently live in a time where our government, elected leaders and leaders of corporate world rely on constantly on the use of certain words and certain language to disclose the truth, but in a way which infers something quite different from the reality. Take the example provided by the BBC today.

The article refers to a recent letter sent to local traders of Bournemouth by some sputnik at Dorset Police Head Quarters. The letter informed them that they should not report shoplifting thefts worth less than £75 and that detaining a criminal would be against the Human Rights Act.
A Dorset Police rep. has apologised for the letter and are quoted as saying:

“I would like to apologise to retailers who were led to believe that we may have
changed our policy.”


“While sent with the good intention of reducing crime, the letter… was a
mistake and incorrect”

OK, now back to your GCSE English classes. This exercise tests your powers of observation, reasoning and ability to recognise implied meaning. Circle A, B, or C:

Question 1. Dorset Police have apologised to retailers.
A: Yes
B: No
C: Cannot be certain

Question 2. Dorset Police want to apologise to retailers.
A: Yes
B: No
C: Cannot be certain

Question 3. If retailers had followed the instructions in the letter, crime would have been reduced.
A: Yes
B: No
C: Cannot be certain

The next exercise tests your lateral thinking, reasoning and ability to hypothesize. Answers in paragraph format:

Question 4. Dorset Police clearly “would like to” apologise to retailers who received the letters. What is stopping them?

2 points.

Question 5. The letter sent out was intended to “reduce crime”. How would not reporting crimes fitting certain criteria actually reduce crime overall?

4 points.

End of Test. How did you do?

Since this kind of inference plagues our leaders and politicians, I intend to point out more of my observations in the area of implied meaning.. be on the lookout!


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