What do you understand if someone tells you they are about to withdraw accommodation?

For most people, nothing at all. Or perhaps they think they are being evicted.

Angel Gurria of the OECD, an economics think-tank, believes bankers and economists must speak simply, whatever their mother tongue, and he made the point while attending one of the world's biggest gatherings of financial leaders, in Singapore.

I asked a doctor friend what he understood when he heard the words 'we will remove accommodation gradually', Gurria said. He replied, 'someone plans to take your hospital bed away, but only bit by bit'.

What the phrase, often uttered by European Central Bank boss Jean-Claude Trichet, actually means in the world of high finance is that the central banker plans to raise interest rates.

It is far from an eviction, even if it could push up the cost of your mortgage.

Why not say I'm going to raise interest rates? asked Gurria, who was finance minister in Mexico himself.