Saturday, February 02, 2008

Word of the Week: euphemism

I was at a seminar this week presented by a law firm. The topic was competition law and at one point the discussion turned to what could happen if the police come to your company’s offices to carry out a search warrant (for example, looking for proof of collusion or price fixing). The point was made that if companies keep documents beyond the legally required period, those documents are fair game in the event of a search.

Then, rather than recommend that companies destroy documents after the statutorily required time for keeping them, here’s what the lawyer recommended:

“So, companies should have robust record retention policies”.

When I heard that, the old song refrain: “You say to-mA-to, I say to-mAH-to” came to mind – or maybe a variation of it – something like, “You say euphemism, I say double-speak”.


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