YP Letters: Economical with the verbal truth

Former England manager Sam Allardyce used the phrase error of judgement. (PA).
Former England manager Sam Allardyce used the phrase error of judgement. (PA).
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From: Edward Grainger, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

Your correspondents reflect a constant interest in the use of words, imported or not (The Yorkshire Post, October 3).

Sam Allardyce is not the first to use the phrase “error of judgement” nor “entrapment” over his recent departure as England football manager.

Over a number of years phrases that cover a multitude of sins have crept into the English language such as ‘joy-riding’ and ‘friendly fire’, but the ones to bring a smile to my face are ‘mis-selling’ for obvious fraudulent activities and ‘economic with the truth’ to cover lies and deceit.

Quantitative Easing we know as covering the printing of money and of course the use of flowery language has been in vogue in job titles for many years with the daddy of them all ‘Travel Warrant Facilitators’, used extensively to cover the employment of ‘bus conductors’ before one-person operation became the norm on public transport.

Readers will, I am sure, have their own particular favourites. Perhaps Northern Powerhouse and fracking will eventually be added to the list.

Chills over cold calling

From: Mrs DM Priestley, Darley Dale, Derbyshire.

I sympathise with Mrs Whitaker on the subject of “cold calling”, meaning phone calling. But recently a new threat has been posed: “cold calling” at your own home.

The first were two strapping lads, wanting me to sign up to regular payments to Cancer Research. Were they genuine? I sent them packing.

However worthy the charity, two big lads at the home of an elderly couple, or worse, a single person, are intimidating.

Yesterday, a young woman with RSPCA all over her chest, was at the door. As this is a charity I favour (you can only support so many) I told her so, but said that no way would I deal with someone cold calling at my door.

She said “We’re all doing it now. It raises the profile of the charity besides raising money.” I tremble. How many more will come?

At least you can slam down the phone, whilst face to face is more alarming. Can the local council, who licence charity sellers in town centres, ban them?

What do your readers think? Suggestions welcomed.

From: NV Elliott, Church Street, South Cave.

Despite being registered under Telephone Preference Service I am increasingly pestered by unsolicited calls. They block any recall efforts you make.

Unfortunately I am somewhat disabled and by the time I reach the phone they have rung off. I consider these a total invasion of privacy and should be banned if it is impossible to call them back, to ask to be removed from their database), or to tell them I am 85 years old. Please do not disturb.

Strictly not for me...

From: Alan Thompson, Bramhope, Leeds

I DON’T know whether it is old age or falling standards, but every time I switch on the TV to another line-up of “media stars” and “celebs”. I haven’t a clue who any of them are.

Apparently a lady called Katya Jones is partnering a failed politician who lost Morley & Outwood to a Tory.

Anyone got a good book?

Volunteers key to libraries

Angela Moreton, Chandos Avenue, Leeds.

In his insistence that, to be considered proper libraries, libraries should only be staffed by professional librarians regardless of cost, and his denigration of the efforts of volunteers, your correspondent Martin Vaughan gives an emotive image to attempt to prove his point (The Yorkshire Post, October 5).

His comparison is disproportionate and unhelpful. No one, surely, has ever died because their library loan was not handled by a qualified librarian.

Many of us may well deplore the closing of libraries and the withdrawal of professional staff in the interests of cost-cutting by local councils, but the reality of the situation is that even more libraries would shut if it were not for the efforts of volunteers.

Mr Vaughan repeats his thanks to professional librarians, but he should be prepared to accept that without volunteers there could well be no book-lending and other community provision in very many areas of this country – not just Sheffield.

Hounded by charities

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

I DO donate to charities, but sometimes a donation promulgates a flurry of requests for more donations. Why do charities hound those who give?

I get repeated requests for money from a charity I have given to and now I have stopped even thinking about them when I have spare cash as they have become a pest.

Any envelope from them goes straight into the bin. I can see that they have to get funds for the work they do, but to harass donors is not on.