The Wisdom of Cropper
I once wrote here about the way the word 'issue' has infested our language like some vicious verbal cuckoo.
And I noted how a woman at Thames Water said to me, when I was reporting a leak, "so do you have issues inside your house?" The water was actually issuing in the street but that wasn't what she meant.
Last night that wonderful Coronation Street character Roy Cropper, played by, and to a great extent created by the genius of, David Neilson, took issue with the word 'issue'.
This was duly noted by the Guardian's Nancy Banks-Smith [readers should bow their heads when reading her name or make that Ali G gesture and say 'Respect'].
Here's what she said:
"These aren't issues. They are things that have gone wrong," James Naughtie protested to Dawn Primarolo, the Paymaster General, on Today (Radio 4). She issued away, regardless. May I draw the minister's attention to Roy Cropper's thoughts last night on this very subject. "Issues is, I believe, the current code word, though what's wrong with difficulties or problems I've no idea." This is the sort of thing you get on Coronation Street and nowhere else.
If there are ever days when you don't have time to read my blog and Nancy Banks-Smith, just read Nancy. You probably would anyway if you have an ounce of judgement. The poor woman tried to retire years ago but after sackloads of letters she was persuaded to change her mind. When she finally shuffles off her mortal coil, Guardian readers will settle for nothing less than a full State funeral.