i on europe


Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

You’ll get back to me in how long?

There’s no place like the U.S. for inventing euphemisms. And American businesses are particularly inventive at it.

Twice in recent days, I’ve phoned companies in my native land and been told that someone would get back to me within 48 working hours. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? Someone will call me back in two days!

Ah, but the fine print that’s slipped in to that phrase — “working hours.” So, let’s see — 48 working hours is six working days. Then we add in two days for the weekend and, whoops, we’re up to eight days.

So it’s a bit of a deceptive way, it seems to me, of saying, “We’ll call you back in a week — maybe more!”

                                                          — DM


Filed under: Bureaucratese

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Don Melvin

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