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Lost for words;Diary

THIS demonstrated, perhaps, a rather better facility with words than that offered by Kim Howells, the minister for lifelong learning, who this week confessed that upon assuming office his first act had been to dispatch a lackey to buy a dictionary of acronyms - which, sadly, turned out to be out of date.

"Whoever invented the acronym GNVQ should have been given the Stalin prize for clarity," declaimed Dr H to his somewhat baffled audience of educational types. But it got worse. Someone asked a question, adding that they were from (that venerable adult education organisation) Niace. "What the hell's Niace?" exclaimed Dr Howells.

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