Wednesday, August 10, 2016

SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW SCULDUGGERY, or how to whistle merry tunes while enjoying City Hall's latest information evasion.

Welcome to another installment of SHANE'S EXCELLENT NEW WORDS, a regular Wednesday feature at NA Confidential.

But why all these newfangled words?

Why not the old, familiar, comforting words, like the ones you're sure to hear when asking the city's corporate attorney why the answers to my FOIA/public records request for Bicentennial commission finances, due to be handed over on July 8, still haven't arrived on August 10?

Bicentennial commission financial trail? What's two (yawn) weeks (shrug) after 463 days?

August 10 update: Make the 483 days since I asked Bob Caesar to tell us how many books were left unsold, and how much the city's 200-year fest cost.

It's because a healthy vocabulary isn't about intimidation through erudition. Rather, it's about selecting the right word and using it correctly, whatever one's pay grade or station in life.

Even these very same insouciant (talk dirty to us), bond-engorged municipal corporate attorneys who customarily are handsomely remunerated to suppress information can benefit from this enlightening expansion of personal horizons, and really, as we contemplate what they knew and when they knew it, all we have left is plenty of time -- and the opportunity to learn something, if we're so inclined.

Today's word is skulduggery.

skulduggery or skullduggery, sculduggery, scullduggery


noun, plural skulduggeries

1. dishonorable proceedings; mean dishonesty or trickery: bribery, graft, and other such skulduggery.

2. an instance of dishonest or deceitful behavior; trick.

Origin of skulduggery

1705-1715, Americanism; variant of sculduddery, orig. Scots: fornication, obscenity < ?

Those of Scots heritage, rejoice.

British Dictionary ... Word Origin and History for skulduggery

n. 1856, apparently an alteration of Scottish sculdudrie "adultery" (1713), sculduddery "bawdry, obscenity" (1821), a euphemism of uncertain origin.

But there's more.

Slang definitions & phrases for skulduggery: Shady behavior; dirty work, hanky-panky

In a sentence:

"When simple requests for information are ignored, and the delays and skulduggery mount, one has little choice but to visit the good offices of the Indiana Public Access Counselor."

1 comment:

w&la said...

The first thing you learn when you start to practice Public Relations:

If there is bad news, get out in front of it, tell the truth, and let the chips fall where they may - otherwise it just festers and gets worse and worse...