Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Discretionary mail

with 2 comments

Typical advertising mail
Image via Wikipedia

Discretionary mail. Now there’s a neologism* that’s a load of old junk.

And what is discretionary mail? Yep, that’s right: junk mail. I heard this ludicrous term for the first time on BBC Radio 4 this week and the BBC news website is using it as well (shame on them).

It’s junk mail. If you want to put a gloss on it, call it direct mail. If you want to stop getting it, register for free with the Mailing Preference Service (UK only).

*Neologism: a newly coined word or phrase.

More neologisms


2 Responses

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  1. Here’s a mnemonic aid: you immediately *discard* all discretionary mail.

    Michael Farrell

    22/01/2010 at 3:59 pm

    • … and all ridiculous euphemisms! Thanks, Michael.


      22/01/2010 at 6:15 pm

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