EthicalDative must have a focus to offset my wandering attention. I try with mixed results to blog about art and language, and respond elsewhere and otherwise to the rest.
An October 6th article about an appalling event has stayed in my suspense file of quotable specimens because of the phrase “not objectionably reasonable” occurring in a statement issued by the Texas Rangers:
“The preliminary investigation indicates that the actions of Officer Lucas were not objectionably reasonable,” the statement said.
(“Texas police officer charged with murder over killing of black man,” theguardian.com, 10-6-20)
The actions in question include the fatal shooting on October 3rd, 2020, of a 31-year-old man by a 22-year-old police officer in Wolfe City, Texas.
Wisdom says surround quotations with your own thoughts. I’m too prone to assume that what strikes me somehow in the words I cite speaks for itself. I try to correct that here.
“Not objectionably reasonable” says, as far as I can tell: “not reasonable to a degree that would cause objection; not excessively reasonable; just reasonable enough.” Or something like that.
I can’t make sense of “not objectionably reasonable” in its current context or any other. And when language breaks down at crucial and suspiciously convenient moments, paralleling breakdowns in the real world, it seems to me to add spurious, malignant insult to already grave injury.
(c) 2020 JMN