Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Grabbing grabbers

Section:

“Grab”: a word that should know its place

 

After attending a cocktail reception for the Intelligence Book of the Year Award today and meeting a fascinating array of intelligent people from the world of security, I lunched in the bar of the St. Ermin’s Hotel with my good friend Claire Rubinstein.

 

A man in a cheap suit joined a party at the next table and immediately announced: “Can we grab a bite?” I cringed. Ms Rubinstein cringed. The entire room cringed. What is it with the British these days? Why do we lower ourselves to the misuse of the English language in such a way?

 

Grabbing grabbers

When you meet someone for lunch, you would suppose you would wish to enjoy their company in a leisurely and civilised fashion. You don’t, surely, wish to just “grab” and go. Like other “grabbers” I have encountered, most especially that pair who so love television sofas, this is a word that truly should know its place.

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    • Thank you Michael. I shall look this one up. You might also like the book that won the Intelligence Book of the Year Award, SMERSH by Vadin J. Birstein. I had the pleasure of meeting the author and he even gave me a signed copy.

  1. To anyone who goes ocean sailing the term “grab bag” is perfectly acceptable. It is an emergency bag kept in an easily accessible place so that it can be grabbed by crew members who need to abandon ship asap. The GB contains all that is needed to survive: rations, emergency beacon, water etc etc assuming of course that the crew makes it into the life raft!

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