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A manner of speaking whereby someone in a position of small authority — in our diffused times, is there any other kind? — indicates enough agreement for an initiative she does not enormously care for to proceed — while leaving a door unlatched through which she can escape and categorically deny approval later on, when the initiative turns out to be the moronic idea it will almost certainly be.

One can further equivocate by inclination as in “I would be inclined to be supportive, at this stage”— the implication being that “if gravity were allowed to do its work, one might eventually arrive at a position of agreement, but one is not there yet, and who knows what disturbances in the space-time continuum might intervene to take one to a darker and more hostile place?”

So if your boss says “I am inclined to be supportive at this stage”, know that it is your, not her, posterior in the sling when the enormity of your folly makes itself known to the world.

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