Natural wastage and reduced headcount: two euphemisms for job cuts now so widely used that they've almost ceased to be distasteful.
They're playing a significant role in the aftermath of the Independent Budget Review, which seems destined to be the Second Beveridge Report.
(The first Beveridge Report in 1944 gave us the modern welfare state, and the second one - its chairman, former Scottish Enterprise chief Crawford Beveridge, asks almost as big questions about the retreat of state provision.)
The report is full of trade-offs, options and choices, with an urgency and an urging towards priorities, but without actually offering any.
Close to its core is the trade-off between public sector jobs (or headcount) and provision of flagship policies.
Crawford Beveridge says the number of jobs lost would be between 5.7% and 10%, on roughly 500,000 people working in services devolved to and through Holyrood.
That's where as many as 50,000 could go, and another 10,000 if the same figures are applied to the 100,000 working for Whitehall departments in Scotland.
The deal is simple: the more ministers cut from the 40% of non-payroll cost, the less damage they do to headcount, and the closer they get to the 5.7% reduction.
That means 28,000 or so fewer jobs would be a good outcome.
Can they be achieved by natural wastage - retirements and people wanting to leave - or by voluntary redundancy?
Can the promise of avoiding compulsory redundancies be continued past next spring?
Crawford Beveridge isn't saying "no", and politicians don't want to either.
But he keeps saying, across all his options, that the more you avoid difficult decisions in one area, the more you relocate and expand your problems elsewhere.
That "no compulsory redundancy" pledge looks set to be a major one going into next May's Holyrood election.
Significantly, Crawford Beveridge says that we ought to assume natural wastage will fall.
If the public sector's being squeezed, and the private sector remains weak, people are going to take a lot more persuading that it's a good time to search for a new start.
And as Robert Peston noted in his blog on Thursday, the results from the UK's BigCo corporates shows their noteworthy financial health is not being accompanied by a willingness to boost investment and create lots of new jobs.
The private sector recovery is not necessarily one that will take up that jobs slack.
The option (looking very like a recommendation) of a pay freeze is, it's conceded, a pay cut in real terms.
And the pay bill could further be reduced by choosing to opt out of some UK pay-setting mechanisms.
Two further points stand out, for me at least, both with more of a political tinge to them.
One is that the process of setting up an independent budget review seems already to have done a lot to inject something other than the blame game into the debate.
To be frank, this is the kind of document John Swinney's civil servants should have been able to supply him.
But instead, it has wider buy-in. The only significant criticisms on publication day were from the STUC, politely saying the three-member group fall some way short of being representative of anything much.
They're not harsh enough on business support grants, or on the macro-economic implications of what they propose.
The other was from PricewaterhouseCoopers, saying the plans are not sufficiently radical, and do not go far enough in warning how bad things are going to get.
"We don't think this will make its readers uncomfortable enough," says PwC.
The accountants have a point, at least in that Whitehall departments have been told to draw up parallel plans for handling cuts of 25% and a worst case 40%.
The Beveridge Report assumes 12.5%, and there are those who think the scale of what's coming to Holyrood could be worse.
Free for all
The other point is how radical this report is in reversing pretty much every spending innovation the Scottish Parliament has taken over the 11 years since it was set up.
Abolition of up-front student fees: free personal care for the elderly, free eye tests and dental checks: expanding provision of free school meals: free bus travel for all pensioners - and that was just those under Labour and the LibDems.
The SNP came in to power with abolition of bridge tolls, followed by abolition of the graduate endowment, phasing out of prescription charges and hospital car parking fees.
It's been opposed to letting Scottish Water out of ministerial hands, and it's opposed to private provision of NHS services.
This was the fiscal and dominant end of proving how home rule could make Scotland different.
And yet every one of these initiatives to expand state provision and eligibility has been directly challenged by the Independent Budget Review.
It also firmly rejects the campaigning style at three elections, in which parties offered an auction of additional police officers, nurses and reduced class sizes.
While there's little detail on police, justice, hospital provision or education, the approach is seen as outdated, failing to focus on the outcomes expected from that extra spend.
Now, it's about how to gain the same outcomes, but after natural (and unnatural) wastage, with a much lower headcount.