Language and Economics
Thank you for your very long blog. I should say “thank you” and “well done” at the same time, because I can see that you made a tremendous effort with this blog! Your effort has been rewarded with writing which is logical and coherent. You use many linking words and all of them have been used correctly! This means that the ideas “flow” throughout your writing. Your paragraph structure is also good, and added to the good organisation of your writing. You made a few little spelling mistakes where you repeated a French-ish spelling of some English words (governements and responsability). I’d just like to draw your attention to the use of “one” as a pronoun. We can use “one” as the subject of a written sentence to mean “I” or “you”. We use it when we are describing a condition which could be universal. The reflexive pronoun of one is “oneself”. Similarly, the reflexive pronoun for “you” is “yourself”. I’m sure that you know this already, but to keep the style of your writing consistent, remember to match up the correct reflexive pronoun with the subject of the sentence. Thank you for all of your hard work! I know it is difficult to find the time to write when you are working already. I’m looking forward to reading your next blog!
Thank you for sending your comments in about the time/money/work relationship in your own countries. One thing is clear, in many countries, employees have no choice about the long hours they have to work. In this case, it is important that we make a distinction about an employee’s lack of choice. It is not really fair to describe such an employee as a workaholic, I think we would describe him or her as “overworked”, but living in a workaholic culture. I found your comments so interesting that I did a little bit of research on the internet today! I discovered that although downshifting is a trend in the UK, it is a definite reaction to the “long-hours” work culture, which encourages employees to do unpaid overtime in order to gain respect or promotion at work…
Whilst the reality may be depressing, one aspect is fascinating for me! Look at the way the English language is adapting to cope with these changes in society: downshift is a new word which uses a preposition (down) and a verb (shift). The use of a preposition at the start of a verb is a very new form of language use, it seems to be a back-to-front phrasal verb. I tried to think of other examples, and they all represent new developments in the way we live. Look at these words: upload and download. Both are verbs and nouns, both have been invented in relation to the use of information use and computers. To start a computer, we now use the verb power-up! It's also possible to power-down a computer, but this word is not as commonly used. Two more words used in connection with computers are upgrade (improve / promote) and downgrade (reduce / demote). Correct me if I’m wrong, but did these words originate from airline travel?
Back to the world of work, these days, many companies are involved in a process called downsizing which means eliminating staff. The process of privatising parts of a large company (the catering or cleaning, for example) is called outsourcing. Our materialistic culture can be described as throwaway, an adjective which sums up our purchasing aspirations and habits: the more things we buy, the more we have to throw away (dispose of).
In all of the cases above, you can see how a new word has been created from a preposition and a noun or verb. The words connected to employment are known as euphemisms, that is, polite or indirect ways of saying unpleasant or socially "unacceptable" things. In English, there are many euphemisms used to sack or fire people. Here are some of them: restructuring (the workforce); streamlining; rationalising; letting someone go. Whilst much of this language is simply the use of jargon to disguise cold, hard economics, I think it also shows something about the nature of language. Language use is dynamic, and inventive. New words are emerging and evolving to accommodate the changing world we live in.
Let me know your thoughts!
USEFUL WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
a condition which applies to everyone.
tremendous effort (noun)
a really big effort which in this case has brought about results!
this means that someone has t work much harder than they really want to.
conscious decision to live on less money, to lead a simpler life with fewer luxuries.
the unofficial working day, which continues longer than the employee's contracted hours.
extra work that an employee does to meet deadlines.
upload (verb / noun)
transfer information (files, images) onto a computer.
download (verb / noun)
extract information from a computer.
to start up a computer.
to switch off a computer.
upgrade (verb / noun)
to improve / promote.
downgrade (verb / noun)
to demote / reduce.
euphemism (indirect expression) for firing employees.
euphemism (indirect expression) for sub-contracting or bringing in cheaper companies to do exisiting jobs in a company.
an indirect way of saying something socially "unacceptable".
technical words used to confuse the listener or reader.
powerful, a driving force.
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