09.09.2016 Word of the Week: Serene


A strange verbal tic has infected politicians and other public figures in recent years – the habit of saying they are “relaxed” about certain issues.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron was the worst offender, regularly claiming he was “relaxed” or even “very relaxed” about a range of things, most famously about publishing his tax returns.

(Though, coming from a man who was infamous for “chillaxing”, perhaps this was not entirely surprising.)

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka Wills and Kate) were also said to be “very relaxed” about unauthorised paparazzi photos taken of them and Prince George in Australia two years ago.

But this week the governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney went one further when he told MPs he was “absolutely serene” about comments he had previously made about the economic impact of a Brexit vote.

Relaxed is obviously too mild a term to describe how untroubled Mr Carney feels about his Brexit warnings; maybe he has gone beyond mere relaxation and entered an almost Zen-like state of tranquility?

Whether this is a desirable state for the head of one of the world’s major financial institutions to be in probably depends on your point of view.

But maybe if Mr Carney can feel “serene” over Brexit there’s hope for the rest of us?