Wednesday, 6 February 2013
London Underground has come up with a new form of words to explain (or not) 'minor delays' on its lines: they are invariably 'due to operational issues'. You don't say so! The phrase really doesn't add an awful lot to our understanding of the situation, does it - indeed, you might well say that the 'minor delays' are themselves the 'operational issues' here. 'Issues' is invariably a word used to - well, actually, to dodge the issue. 'Issues' sound somehow easier to deal with than problems or difficulties or (often the reality) cockups; issues can be 'addressed', they can be 'explored', and they have that endearing habit of clustering 'around' things. I find it's a sound rule that, whenever you hear someone using the phrase 'issues around', they have nothing useful to say on whatever those issues are so companionably surrounding. Meanwhile, I don't think anyone would feel they had been short-changed if London Underground were just to report that there are 'minor delays' and leave it at that.