so reading the story about the mad 16yr old who wants to sail around the world, I cannot help but notice the use of the phrase "treacherous cape" when talking about the famous two southern tips of continents he has to negotiate.
Why "treacherous"? since everyone knows they are bloody dangerous, what is wrong with just saying "dangerous"? It's not like he wasn't forwarned...
Same goes for "tragic" - tragedy (whether ancient greek or shakespearean or modern) refers to a subtle concept irony - irony refers to the dissonance (actually, lets not be poncy- it refers to superiority of knowledge by one group over another - e.g. audience (and author:) over character, or in ancient classical Greece, Gods over mortals). When a family burn to death, this is NOT tragic. It is bloody awful, but it isn't tragic - actually, this topic was covered superbly by ed byrne (see Ed Byrne's hysterical routineon how Alannis Morissette misunderstands the word Ironic (probably proxying for a lot of americans, oh ok, she's canadian - well THATs ironic:)
Terrorism:- um, don't get me started on the abuse of the word.
"We won't negotiate with terrorism" is basically a substitute
for "We won't negotiate with you, coz you're winning and we need to stop
making it clear in the news" so then the only difference between a tterorist and an enemy combatant is negotiation. Now, lets speak plainly here.
Saying "We wont negotiate with them" on TV is a negotiating position for god's sakes.
Like putting your hands over your ears and saying to someone "I'm not talking to you", it is a communication of a kind. obviously.
and another STUPID phrase that drips from journalists pens like it was nectar, but is basically pooh: "now we are at the crossroads" - so after the Irish voted against the euro-constitution a BBC wit used this gem. we were at the crossroads BEFORE ireland voted - now they've made a decision noone else had the gumption to make, we have gone down a particular road (to use another cliche) - we aren't at crossroads any more