Wednesday, 4 February 2015

PRONI: Expressions to be avoided

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland's Document of the Month for February is a 'first day brief' paper from Government files in 1985. First Day Briefs were issued to brand-new Government Ministers in Belfast, and this particular one – Expressions to be Avoided (and Notes on Other Terminology) – was prepared for the incoming Secretary of State, Tom King, in September 1985. He was to hold that position until July 1989.
A part of the First Day Brief advising on how to refer to The Republic of Ireland.
Click image to download (pdf 119kb) PRONI's Document of the Month for February

PRONI's Graham Jackson says this document was just one part of a weighty 130-page First Day Brief that was presented to him. 'It gives a list of terms to avoid, together with an accompanying contextual explanation for each term and possible alternative terms to use where necessary.

'Its simplicity belies the complexity of the situation into which the new Minister was being deployed. It reveals a host of intricate sensitivities and pitfalls to be negotiated by the Minister in the course of their initial public appearances, as they started their new job during the mid-eighties.'