Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Circumlocution Office

The Circumlocution Office invented by Charles Dickens in Little Dorrit, is described in Chapter Ten,

"The Circumlocution Office was (as everybody knows without being
told) the most important Department under Government. No public
business of any kind could possibly be done at any time without the
acquiescence of the Circumlocution Office. Its finger was in the
largest public pie, and in the smallest public tart. It was
equally impossible to do the plainest right and to undo the
plainest wrong without the express authority of the Circumlocution
Office. If another Gunpowder Plot had been discovered half an hour
before the lighting of the match, nobody would have been justified
in saving the parliament until there had been half a score of
boards, half a bushel of minutes, several sacks of official
memoranda, and a family-vault full of ungrammatical correspondence,
on the part of the Circumlocution Office."

Dickens goes on to describe this fictional government office,

" Whatever
was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand
with all the public departments in the art of perceiving--HOW NOT

Thank you to our patron who is reading his way through the works of Charles Dickens for calling this government office to our attention.

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