I have been a very good, compliant and well-trained little citizen (stop laughing at the back there). No, honestly, I have. I actually sent the census form back, filled in.
Completely filled in. Every question. Even the ones that don't apply to me. Aren't I a good little citizen? I hope it doesn't confuse their computer and that my carelessness with cigarette ash doesn't affect the workings. Computer viruses are bad enough, but computer cancer is really serious stuff. They might get lumpy ventilator fans or wheezing speakers. I was generous enough to include a book advert too. No extra charge.
I also took it to the post office for a proof of posting because I know, if they want to make an easy thousand, all they have to do is pretend they didn't get it. That way they'll have the information and the money. Apparently a lot of local good citizens didn't trust the census creatures either, because the post office has had a lot of requests for proof of posting.
Lately I am mostly working at home and was on census day, so my means of travelling to work is... I just get out of bed and there it is. They had anticipated my query as to what consitutes a 'room' and provided a list which covered pretty much everything. Damn.
It had to go in. It's the only way I could get 'Smoker' recorded as a religion. The rest of it? Inconsequential drivel as far as I can see. They know how I earn money, it's on the tax forms although it doesn't ctually say 'rogue scientist' on those. Maybe this year. They know where I live because this is where they delivered the form and it's on the local council's lists, in the phone books and in the utility company records. They know I don't care at all about school provision because there are birth records. All the information is already recorded somewhere apart from how I get to work and that's useless because it depends what I'm working on. Sometimes I'm at home. Sometimes I get a bus to the lab. Sometimes I have to go to a meeting somewhere else and how I get there depends on who's paying for the trip.
So I sent it in. Captain Ranty is refusing and has a sound and logical reason to refuse. I know of others who have binned their forms too. I am not in lawful rebellion as such. I prefer to play their games, just not always by their rules. They expect the population to be stupid so they can hardly complain when one of us acts stupid, now can they?
There was a time when the signature on official forms was accompanied by 'I certify that the information contained herein is correct, to the best of my knowledge and belief'. Very specific legal terminology. This one said something along the lines of 'This is right, as far as I know'. Oooh, now that's a different declaration. It's been simplified to accommodate the drones who have been through the alleged education system, but it's now actually saying something different.
So when I signed that I was not certifying anything to the best of my knowledge and belief. I just shrugged and said 'As far as I know'.
All the complex legal language on forms is being simplified away. But it's not just jargon. It's a specific form of words that has legal meaning. Simplify it and you can lose the meaning, along with the legal implications of that meaning.
I don't know enough about specific legal language but it has to be worth finding out. There could be a lot of fun to be had with these dumbed-down forms in the future.