Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has apologised for his poor grasp of the English language after being advised that ‘negotiate’ does not mean ‘annihilate’.
“I was under the impression that to negotiate meant ‘to crush your opponent’,” he said, “but now they’re telling me it means something more like ‘compromise’. I’ll have to look that one up. It’s another new word to add to my vocabulary.”
It’s come as a surprise to Hunt that saying ‘Do as you’re told or I’ll use the nuclear option’ is not remotely part of the linguistic concept of negotiation. Instead, he’s been told to sit down with the junior doctors and listen to what they’re saying.
Hunt responded with a loud La-La-La-ing noise, insisting he doesn’t know what ‘listening’ means because he got stuck on ‘aardvark’ as a child and only recently got as far as ‘belittle’ and ‘bully’ in his list of words.
“The Minister has now gone to bed with a bit of a sore throat and a dictionary,” said Hunt’s aide. “If he develops a temperature in the middle of the night, I’ll ring his GP and see if he wouldn’t mind popping round with some Lemsips for him.”