The term emoluments is suddenly enjoying a dubious revival with a clause in the US constitution that is among many currently battening down the hatches.
The term, while not constantly on the lips of the rap generation, evokes fond memories from my days studying Tang history.
True, this is scant consolation for the current Destruction of Civilisation As We Know It.
Another namby-pamby term used in academia that always makes me giggle is honorarium. But since I very occasionally get one, I mustn’t bite the hand that feeds me.
Musos are more straight-talking. One day our Mozart recording sessions in St John’s Smith square were interrupted by deafening building work outside. Reluctant to send us all home, the conductor discussed with the record company whether they might offer the workmen some kind of bribe to knock it off. Meanwhile the orchestra, aware that we would still have to be paid even if the session had to be called off, wondered whether we might make them a better offer to get them to keep going.
This was around the time of a dispute between a certain conductor and the brass players about overtime. A trumpet player (legendary for many touring exploits besides) put their case with the classic remark,
It’s not the principle, it’s the money!
This actually goes back at least to Eisenhower in 1959.