A senior official advised ministers that a survey saying 655000 Iraqis died due to the war was "robust". - BBC News, March 2007
Is it just me, or has the word robust become one of the most irritating cliches in Britain during the last year? Every time a politician, public servant or businessman is being grilled by the media, they invariably mention this word at some point in the interview and it seems as if no Government initiative is worth it's salt unless it's 'robust'.
In the context of interviews, people usually use robust to describe a remedy for a balls-up. We don't want to hear the truth, which is 'We buggered it up but next time we'll try to be less crap' so instead we're told that measures are being introduced which will be more robust. Occasionally it's deemed necessary to introduce measures that are robust and resilient.
I would like to impose a cliche tax that would be imposed every time certain words or phrases were uttered. I would definitely include the following:
It's not rocket science
Moving the goalposts
Get over it
At the end of the day
Go the extra mile
And while we're at it, let's have a moratorium on cool, yay, hey and I'm good thanks.
Are we singing from the same hymn sheet?