Donald MacInnes: The Bank is like a bad boyfriend? What sort of description is that?

 

This week's public address concerns "describing words". These are supposed to illuminate the inner workings of people or things, or, in the case of the Labour MP Pat McFadden, the Bank of England, which he "described" in particularly pejorative terms.

"We've had a lot of different signals," he said. "I mean, it strikes me that the Bank's behaving a bit like a sort of unreliable boyfriend. One day hot, one day cold, and the people on the other side of the message are left not really knowing where they stand."

I would "describe" this statement as a little harsh. The most unreliable boyfriend I ever had was actually a woman, in that she was what you might call "my girlfriend". Her principal glitch as regards her reliability was timeliness – as in, she had none. I spent roughly 42 per cent of our year together waiting for her outside this pub, that pub, this café, that library (only kidding, it was a chip shop). Even though we broke up more than 20 years ago, I suspect that, even now, she is probably just arriving for a date with me outside the Granary bar in Glasgow. I hope she's not too disappointed when I don't show – although, it being the Granary, I expect she'll pull.

Still with descriptions, the English football squad arrived home this week from Brazil, where they had gone to rest and recuperate after a hard Premier League season. If only someone had "described" the value of scoring a goal to them in a bit more detail. As a result of their near-Scottish ineptitude, I expected Roy Hodgson and his cast of capitulating millionaires to be "described" by the rougher neighbourhoods of the English media as turnips or Brazil nuts or something equally punny. But due to the lack of expectation among Fleet Street's legions – and, it has to be said, the English public – there seems to be an unprecedented amount of pulled punches among the Filth Estate. Maybe they realise that to get angry and abusive with their players is self-defeating. Or maybe they just ran out of food-based humour.

More bogus describing words were used this week in Germany at Tübingen University, when an American exchange student managed to get himself trapped inside a stone sculpture. Nothing wrong with that, of course; students have been misbehaving with statues since the beginning of time. No, what concerns me is that the authorities compounded the student's embarrassment by "describing" the stone statue as a representation of the female private area. The sculpture is called Pi-Chacan, which, in the language of the Peruvian Indians, means "make love".

Having had to be freed by sniggering firefighters, the hapless prisoner of love has surely suffered enough. Let's, from now on, describe the statue as a scale model of the Grand Canyon, mmm? It's less embarrassing all round.

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

    Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

    The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

    £43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there