Recipriversexclu-Mots

TheCritique Archives

by Martin Odoni

Beware a politician saying… well, basically anything.

It has been noted by minds far greater than mine and since long, long before I first drew breath that political language – sometimes nicknamed ‘spin’ (a political bit of language in itself, as it makes the phenomenon sound relatively harmless and even somewhat quaint) – is often the inverse of any other form of language, in that what words mean in most modes of speech will usually be the opposite of what is meant in political discourse. When politicians speak, their meaning can be anything other than itself, but seldom just itself.

The late Douglas Adams once coined the word ‘Recipriversexcluson‘ – see his novel Life, The Universe & Everything – as the mathematical label for a number that can only ever be anything other than itself e.g. the time at which everyone has agreed they should…

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