Friday, 1 August 2008

Word of the day

Today's word is vagueing up, from yesterday's article in The Age by Michelle Grattan, headed "Nelson fudges 2012 date for start of carbon trade." Grattan uses the term in this sentence: "This is a vagueing up of the line of recent months, which said the scheme should start "not later than 2012". One Liberal later said the 2012 date was now "aspirational"." The alternative spelling, vaguing up, occurs in an article by Roger Clarke on research ethics. Roger refers to "withholding and/or vaguing up" research information to preserve a commercial advantage.

However, this invaluable term seems to have been coined anew by Michelle Grattan - yet another in her many contributions to the expression of Australian political life - I can
think of many possible uses already. I guess that a definition of the term would run something like "redefining a policy or course of action so as to make its meaning less clear". The expression has been formed by analogy with similar expressions, like dressing up or sexed up.

As for the spelling, that is a dilemma. Related words like queueing can be spelled both ways (with or without the e). I'm not sure which I prefer - simplicity would lean me to the version without the e, but the version with the e looks righter. And I'm a Gemini. You decide.

1 comment:

eric said...

I have also thought of using this word. Just flashed my mind.