Name games

“It seems that Buranda is what used to be called an Underdeveloped Country. However, this term has apparently become offensive, so they were called Developing Countries. This term was apparently patronising. Then they became Less Developed Countries — or LDC, for short.

It seems that the term LDC is not yet causing offense to anyone. When it does, we are immediately ready to replace it with HRRC. This is short for Human Resource-Rich Countries. In other words, they are grossly overpopulated and begging for money.”

— From the Conflict of Interest episode in Yes Minister.

Now read this clip from an actual news report:

“Beginning this season, for instance, if India’s monsoon rainfall were to dip below 10 per cent of the normal and span between 20 and 40 per cent of the country’s area, it would be called a “deficient” year instead of an “All India Drought Year” as the IMD’s older manuals would say. A more severe instance, where the deficit exceeds 40 per cent and would have been called an “All India Severe Drought Year,” will now be a “Large Deficient Year”.

So there you go: India will have no more droughts. By administrative fiat.

(We’ve had two successive Large Deficient Years, though. And if the rains play truant this monsoon, we might have a Totally Fucked Up Year coming up).

BTW, this is not the first time a name change has solved our problems. Remember this?

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