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Words: Acas, n.

BROADCAST TALK is becoming increasingly painful to hear, with unnatural stress put upon syllables and words. Newsreaders are great offenders. Spurious urgency prompts such horrors as today becoming "two day". Anybody who spoke like this at a normal gathering would be thought mad.

Brighton Council, however, now imposes all this upon swimmers by relaying at the pool a local station whose announcer referred in a news-feed to another failure by "the Government's Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas". This is another variant on our era's saying the same thing twice over. These initials are shorthand for something spelt out in the previous breath. If acronyms are not self-explanatory, let us revive a 16th-century word and have them acast.