I had an interesting letter from Honda this week about a safety recall. Not interesting because of the content but because of the style.
They are going to give me new airbags because the old ones are faulty. But they had a very long-winded way of saying it.
‘In the event of an impact where the airbag is deployed, the inflator part of the airbag may ignite, in such a manner, that it creates excessive internal pressure. As a result, the metal inflator casing may rupture causing metal fragments to be propelled through the airbag and into the vehicle compartment. This may result in serious injury to the vehicle occupants.’
I think it’s their way of avoiding the words: ‘Your airbag might explode.’
I don’t know if I was more offended by them not being straight with me, the knowledge that they’ve let me drive around in a dangerous car or the way they’ve used commas in that first sentence.
Anyway, it will go down on record as a fine example of a euphemism. And I came across another good one, too, this time (as if so often the case) in the context of business management. A local publisher is using the phrase ‘editorial reinvention’ to avoid saying ‘restructure’.
In other news
- Ian McEwan has a new book out, and it’s speculative fiction – a genre that a recent interview suggests he knows little about. Social media commentators took him to task. As Antony Johnston pointed out, Mary Shelley did this 200 years ago.
- Notre Dame burned; people grieved; some were unsympathetic about people grieving. And someone shared a poem.