May I have a word about raising an ‘incident’ in the case of a broken TV | Jonathan Bouquet

The National Trust dealt with our holiday complaint but it wasn’t quite as dramatic as the rep made it sound

Having just returned from a very relaxing sojourn in Cornwall, staying in a National Trust cottage, I really should have no grounds for complaint, and yet... A couple of niggles.

You’re not a holiday-maker if you stay in a NT property, you’re a “supporter”. Heaven knows what that means exactly. And then there was the broken television. Sound, but no picture. What we basically had was a defunct set. Even I could work that one out. The issue of the broken TV was put to the NT rep, who said she would “raise an incident”.

What? How dramatic does that sound? An incident conjures up images of terrorist events, catastrophic fires, motorway pile-ups. No, it was simply a TV past its sell-by date. Inconvenient but no more than that, so less of the drama, please.

Stumbling blindly, as usual, through the City pages, my eye was caught by the following headline: “Bill for Barclays securities blunder rises to $17.6bn”. Intrigued by such an enormous figure, I read on. “It said at the time that it had exceeded a limit set in August 2019 by about $15.2bn and that it would start a rescission order to repurchase the securities and rectify the error.”

“Rescission” had me inevitably scrambling for the dictionary, to discover it means the act of rescinding. Completely new on me, so it’s little wonder I find the world of high finance so baffling.

Equally baffling are advertising slogans. There are a couple at the moment that make absolutely no sense, so opaque are they. Take Audi’s for example - “Future is an attitude”. Stumped? Me too. And what are we to make of this from South Western Railway - “We’re on a journey to better”? As my wife caustically said: “Just run your bloody trains on time.”

• Jonathan Bouquet is an Observer columnist

Contributor

Jonathan Bouquet

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
May I have a word about… nudniks and quantamental investing | Jonathan Bouquet
If you find this headline confusing, read on. After all, why should bankers have all the fun?

Jonathan Bouquet

12, Jan, 2020 @6:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… why the market is always spooked | Jonathan Bouquet
I know we are in volatile financial times but let’s at least have a bit of linguistic variation

Jonathan Bouquet

09, Oct, 2022 @9:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… the brave new world of banking and fintech | Jonathan Bouquet
Long gone are the days when bankers’ communiques were short and to the point…

Jonathan Bouquet

09, Jun, 2019 @5:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… the Brexit word | Jonathan Bouquet
It’s a black day in the history of this column: I can steer clear of the B word no longer

Jonathan Bouquet

25, Nov, 2018 @6:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… issues? | Jonathan Bouquet
Euphemism and evasion are all around us; what was wrong with good old-fashioned problems?

Jonathan Bouquet

06, May, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… bullets? | Jonathan Bouquet
When are they magic? And when silver? The public – and any passing werewolves – have a right to know

Jonathan Bouquet

22, Apr, 2018 @4:59 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… Goldilocks? | Jonathan Bouquet
How the protagonist of the fairytale has gone from eating porridge to being a yardstick for the economy

Jonathan Bouquet

20, May, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… economics? | Jonathan Bouquet
The language of business and finance used to be easy. Now it’s all derivatives, FDI balances and ‘summing to zero’

Jonathan Bouquet

01, Jul, 2018 @5:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… fandom | Jonathan Bouquet
In the hyperbolic world of brands, it’s never enough to be just a customer

Jonathan Bouquet

11, Dec, 2022 @10:00 AM

Article image
May I have a word about… Facebook claiming the word ‘book’ | Jonathan Bouquet
Does Mark Zuckerberg think people are too stupid to know the difference between the social media giant and, well, a book?

Jonathan Bouquet

22, Sep, 2019 @8:30 AM