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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Digging new graves

I haven’t updated my cemetery in a long time but I think it’s time I did so. Our public speech is so full of euphemisms that we seem incapable of straight talk. I don’t even want to get started on “holistic’’. Everything is “holistic’’ these days, especially development. And don’t worry, each “new initiative’’ will be “monitored closely’’.

  1. Have you noticed that when people want to praise something, they call it “a step in the right direction’’? It’s such a cliché and I wonder why people reach for this…Is it because it’s not such “fulsome’’ praise? Better than saying “it’s a wonderful idea’’ because that would make you sound so young and naive? If I see another step in the right direction, I will step, nay, stomp, on it.
  2. Something bad happened to you, so it “affected’’ you. Or did it “impact’’ you? I can’t stand impact being used as a verb….So such and such “impacted’’ the bottomline? Why this choice of verb (if it is one?) Because impact simply means it has impact but you don’t know if it’s adverse or positive? Can we keep impact as a noun?
  3. I am guilty of this too: The devil is in the details. Legitimate phrase of course. But it probably means “it’s so complicated that we will probably screw up when we carry it out’’. I suppose it’s also code for “I really don’t think this is going to work but let’s see…’’

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

Further reading

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