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Flagging up old phrase.

TERENCE Wilkinson from Mirfield was interested in the piece I wrote about annoying phrases that are used in business.

Steve Jenner, of the Plain English Campaign, said: "Management gobbledygook is a complete distraction, partly to try to impress people or make them appear clever when they are not," he said.

They include euphemisms such as "bird table discussion", "bring it to the table", "mission critical" and "there is no I in team". The most complained of term, he said, was: "Let's run this up the flagpole."

Terence suggests that this last one has been around for decades.

"I'm sure I first heard the 'flagpole' one spoken by Robert Webber playing juror number 12 in Twelve Angry Men and I am sure he said : 'Let's run this up the flagpole and see who salutes it.' This was in 1957."

He did indeed. Online research suggests the line was not in the original TV play but was added when that script was extended to make the feature film starring Henry Fonda (pictured in the film). Juror number 12 was an advertising executive and the term was widespread on Madison Avenue - the advertising centre of the world - in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Well spotted that man.
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2014
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