News & views
Grievance with ‘agreeance’
It’s not just obscure technical jargon that some professionals use when communicating with lay people, it’s words that are so rare most dictionaries don’t include them.
One such is ‘agreeance’, in happy obsolescence since the 16th century. A customer of Bernicia, a housing association in the north east of England, tells me he’s just come off the phone to its ‘Housing Officer – Resident Involvement’ who three times used the expression residents' agreeance. He remarks: ‘My agreeance to their plans has been negativised by this experience.’
In case you were wondering, Wikipedia says Bernicia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom established by 6th-century Anglian settlers, roughly equivalent to the modern English counties of Northumberland and Durham, and the former Scottish counties of Berwickshire and East Lothian, stretching from the Forth to the Tees. Wikipedia is silent about ‘agreeance’, however. [MC]