Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grattan's Extreme Wind Event

PERHAPS Michelle Grattan was a little tipsy yesterday – a couple too many celebratory Pimms No.1 Cups? – or it could be that her command of the language, such as it is, was eclipsed by tingling delight at another “devilishly clever” Gillard coup. Whatever the reason, the venerable Fairfax correspondent’s proclamation of her favourite government’s carbon swindle begins with this ardent observation:
Whether good or bad, this is a big reform.
A “bad reform", eh, Michelle?

Some years ago, former Fairfax chief Fred Hilmer sold his company’s art collection. It would seem his successors  have flogged the dictionaries. Either that or Grattan stumbled across Orwell’s Politics and the English Language and misread its cautions as a guide to the practice of contemporary journalism:
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Wind? Nah, just more Fairfax flatulence.


  1. PhillipGeorge(c)2011October 13, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    If only Michelle was "moving forward" and writing "in the national interest".

    Enculturate is eytmologically dated to 1948 [Melville J. Herskovits]; about the time George Orwell was writing 1984 - the inversion of truth. It was the birth of cultural relativism.

    So "enculturate" is a word your grandparents or great-grandparents would not have begun to live in this world with. They had an education, so why would they need to be "enculturated"?

    Thus, proctology [where something goes in rather than comes out] and social engineering were finally united as disciplines about the time Julia and Bod Brown were conceived - the marriage of minds foretold.

  2. Ah to have someone quote Politics and the English Language in this day and age and with such beautiful accuracy with respect to a Fairfax journalist is something to savour, we get so little of it these days.

    About the time of the 2020 Summit I felt compelled to get out my collection of Orwell's works -- and have since purchased Animal Farm and 1984 for my young politically-savvy neice -- she's read them and is so aware of the comparisons, I have at least saved one family member, as for the rest, well ...

  3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 14, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    I had English syntax and grammar drilled into me by a formidable teacher at school in England. I am a ripper at placing a correct apostrophe, avoiding a tautology, being aware of a split infinitive, and once upon a time I could even recognise a gerund - a joy best forgotten. Looking back on it, I think it was good for me. I always get a great satisfaction from playing around with words. I certainly appreciate Orwell and other defenders of the integrity of the language from political manipulation and obfuscation. Nice work Bunyip.

  4. Not a 'bad reform".

    Just very very very bad form.