Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Is this sustainable?

Regular readers may well be aware that I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the use/misuse of language by the EU institutions. How people use what appears to be English words and grammatical structures but fail to convey meaning. It appears that I am not alone.

This written declaration has just appeared, penned by one of the Ind/Dem MEPs, Vladimir Zelezny, great mucker of Vaclav Klaus.
Written Declaration on overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’

The European Parliament,
– having regard to the concept of ‘sustainable development’, which originated in the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development,
– having regard to the European Commission document entitled ‘Towards a global
partnership for sustainable development’ (COM(2002)0082 final),
– having regard to Rule 116 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the current parliamentary term has seen the overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’ and its combination with various other words to create expressions that frequently make no sense in the context,
B. whereas the word ‘sustainable’ is repeated in almost all policies and strategies, producing empty, meaningless phrases that may give rise to dispute,
C. whereas, with the emergence of such expressions, they are being transformed into incantations and cryptography, disguising the real meaning of the concepts we discuss,
D. whereas the overuse of the adjective ‘sustainable’ is itself not sustainable,
1. Calls on European institutions and agencies to use this term in a sensible and balanced way;
2. Calls on all institutions to use the term semantically correctly;
3. Proposes a temporary moratorium on the word ‘sustainable’;
4. Instructs its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission, the Council and the parliaments of the Member States.
Thank you Vladimir.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Would you be so kind as to start a movement to declare the Czechs honorary members of the 'Anglosphere'.
With links to them back to Jan Huss we've been mates since before the Anglosphere per se formed.