Whether you call it a veto or whether you call it just a moratorium -- actually, don't call it either because what we are talking about, of course, is the interdict on Latin.
Some arbiter elegantiarum in Town Hall circles has decreed that the language of Cicero is not fit for quotidian use. Not, of course, that any councils have emulated the Finnish news station or the Holy Office of the Bishop of Rome and transmitted press releases in the pristine tongue of the ancient Romans. It is the incidental, the minutiae, about which the custodians of our lingua franca are presently concerned. And they have the support of an organisation I have formerly considered the praetorian guard of good sense: the Plain English Campaign, who have not just given it their fiat, they have positively placed their imprimatur on the announcement, citing the example of 'e.g.', which, it is claimed, could be confused with 'egg' and is, ergo, an impediment to simple comprehension.
This leaves me in a quandary. I am accustomed, when speaking in Council, to ad lib impromptu and extempore -- which I realise makes the compilation of a verbatim record difficult. From now on, on such occasions, recourse to a Latin tag will now be no more than a tantalising temptation. I will have to practise self-restraint.
If the zeitgeist is so opposed too classical culture that expressing ourselves without reference to Latin is now de rigueur, I can be sure that aficionados of Council soirees will find there are enough bons mots in a veritable smogasbord of European idioms to let us ridicule this latest idee fixe. And if someone doesn't like it, take it to the ombusdman.