Posted by ESC on January 15, 2004
In Reply to: 'Bog Standard' posted by Cliff on January 14, 2004
: This expression may derive from commerce as a very recent corruption adopted by journalists of 'bulk standard', rather than being a corruption of 'box standard' (meaning the standard of an item newly purchased and taken out of its box).
: The commercial meaning was that goods purchased in bulk should by law correspond with the standard specified in the contract or with the agreed standard in a previously agreed sample or description ie. be of 'bulk standard' namely that the bulk would correspond with the agreed contract description or sample.
You asked: And why do journalists use such appallingly poor English anyway?
Language skills are on the decline in general. A second factor is that journalism has gone to hell in a handbasket. Pretty faces and "happy talk" have taken the place of good journalism regarding television news in the U.S. Print journalism isn't much better.