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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Linguistic Confusion

I was somewhat heartened a few months ago when I saw a headline in Gulf News 'National Identity Authority to be formed'. I didn't read the article, but assumed it meant that the Government were planning to get a new National Anthem, Flag and Logo. But no, I was wrong, what they mean is the introduction of electronic Identity Cards for nationals and expats. These will contain a breathtaking array of information that will make the British scheme look like Noddy in Toyland.

On a similar theme, when I first arrived in the Middle East I was quite taken with the notion that even quite small companies employed the services of a Public Relations Officer. Very image-conscious, these Arabs. But no, a PRO is not a spin-doctor, he's a geezer who spends his entire time running around various Government Departments, organising visas, licences, work permits and all the other beaurocratic gubbins that everybody needs here just to stay legal.

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