Hot air

Wordwatch Towers

Fixed-wing aircraft
Image via Wikipedia

Language can be so beautiful and say so much and it can be so ugly and say so little. Here are a few contenders for the ugly bug ball that I’ve recently come across:

  • UK Airprox incidents
  • Potential confliction
  • Loss of standard separation

All come courtesy of the euphoniously named UK Airprox Board website.

And what are they on about? Near misses, basically. Close shaves. When one aeroplane gets too close to another. Not a poetic subject, but that’s no excuse for the use of horrible euphemisms that say precisely nothing.

And ‘confliction’ is, I believe, a made-up word — not listed in my Oxford Dictionary of English or on the Oxford Dictionaries website. Much like the equally unappealing ‘Airprox’. Note that ‘Airprox’ is always mysteriously capped on the Airprox Board’s website. For example:

Details of specific Airprox events are provided….

The only thing worse than an…

View original post 62 more words


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