The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mind Your Language

The Department for Constitutional Affairs has produced a guide for its staff with the catchy title:- "Eliminating Inappropriate Language in the Workplace". It gives a fascinating insight into the bureaucratic mind. Now I am not obsessed with using or not using "appropriate" language, and I am quite happy to avoid giving offence, but some of the lists in the booklet are eye-opening. Expressions deemed "not acceptable" include:
Old, middle-aged, young, girl, young lady, boy, lad, young man, part-timer, the disabled, the blind, the deaf, black mark, black sheep, black list, black look, Black Monday, coloured, half-caste, West Indian, Afro-Caribbean, Chinese (used as a catch-all (sic) phrase), British (referring to whites), immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, gypsies (used negatively) Gyppos, Ethnics, Jesus Christ (used as a curse) Jesus freak, bible basher, Jewish (acceptable to some) gay (as a noun) manning the phones, manpower, policeman, chairman, spokesman, fireman, foreman, workmen, lady doctor, woman judge, male nurse, male secretary, love, pet, dear (used in a derogatory way)
This is produced for DCA staff, and is not directed at the judiciary (just as well, in my view). It's going to be difficult to hold a conversation with the girls in the office - whoops!