From 'Vocabulary' part of "How To Use ABC Of Plain Words" by E Gowers (1951)

This phrase has become a cliché. For this reason it has been necessary to invent the expression "under active consideration", which is itself on the way to becoming a cliché. It is an old civil service joke that "The matter is under consideration " means "We have lost the file", and " The matter is under active consideration " means "We are trying to find the file". These expressions should be avoided if possible, though it may sometimes be difficult to do without them.

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