This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Bankruptcy: a rant.

I wrote a book about a big bad troll the other day.

This big bad troll, as you will already have inferred, was big and he was bad. In fact, he was a complete menace.

Yes, the clue was in the name.

A committee of the EU wants to banish the word bankruptcy and replace it with a phrase such as debt adjustment.

The idea is to make it easier for people to rebuild their reputations after a financial disaster by disguising the fact that they've, well, been bankrupt.

I wonder what they would have made of the big bad troll? It would have been kinder to his reputation to have called him the colossal independent-minded troll, but it wouldn't have been half so useful as a warning to the poor people who lived near him to keep out of his way.

Of course going bankrupt doesn't mean someone is necessarily bad at business. He may have just been very unlucky indeed. But the fact is that he's got into a situation where he's been unable to pay people the money he's owed them.

Would you do business under a system that calls bankruptcy debt adjustment? A system  where you know you might be deliberately deceived as to a business's history?

Ah well. It'll prove such a obstruction to trade that soon they'll have to invent something called a Permanent Debt Adjustment, or something similar.

Which everyone will know will be bankruptcy under another name.
Word To Use If That's What You Mean: bankrupt. This word comes from the Old French banqueroute, from the Old Italian bancarotta meaning broken bench. The first bankers used to set up their stalls on benches, and if one of the bankers couldn't pay back the money he owed people his bench was broken.



  1. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
    What's next I wonder?
    Actually, I don't want to know!

    But, what's this about a big bad troll?!

    1. The big bad troll is currently doing a round of publishers, trying to find a home.
      Well, you do find all sorts of people in publishing!

    2. I'm sure the big bad troll will find a home very soon. Who doesn't like troll stories!
      Good luck!

    3. Thanks, Jingles. Things are tough in children's publishing at the moment, but we'll see.