Wipe It Off, Gray Lady

Free expression isn’t just a feature of democracy; it is a necessary prerequisite.

(Editorial Board, “Censorship Is the Refuge of the Weak,” New York Times, 9-10-22)

No big deal. Just a nicety of style, a peccadillo none but the persnickety rhetorician besotted with the jots and tittles of messaging has the effrontery to bust a potshot on. But the New York Times, a bastion of style and clarity, well merits being held to high account.

With the phrase necessary prerequisite, the journal steps in the same puddle of fudge that slathers our palaver with shambling redundancies such as free gifts and viable alternatives. If not free, not a gift; if not viable, not an alternative; if not necessary, not a prerequisite.

The point remains: Clear, true speech is the hill that democracy must choose to die on.

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Quotations and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Wipe It Off, Gray Lady

  1. Bravo! I agree with you. Do we want to add extra words to provide gravitas? Like ‘mass exodus’ makes it seem bigger? Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JMN says:

      “Mass exodus”! What a perfect example. This sort of phrase is baked into our discourse. “Exodus” alone implies a crowd performing the action, doesn’t it? We don’t say “Clouseau and his assistant carried out an exodus from the room.” (!) I attribute the phenomenon to a kind of inflation, the way money loses purchasing power, in which words are perceived to lose their force and to need reinforcing. You never hear a politician simply “deny” a charge. He “roundly” and “emphatically” denies it, etc. Thanks for sharing my pleasure in observing it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I like your concept of ‘inflation’ Jim – there does seem to be a need to add force with (redundant) extra words. Our other favourites are ‘quite unique’ (it either is or is not unique) and the indiscriminate use of ‘iconic’ for everything from ice creams to songs. Let alone the royal death (‘passing’!!) cheers Sue

        Liked by 1 person

  2. By the way, I love the drawing at the top!

    Liked by 1 person

    • JMN says:

      Thank you, Sue. I treasure the compliment. It was my little experiment with trying to draw without raising the pen. I was trying for something like a person eating meat, but it turned out a clown dining on his tongue! (?)

      Liked by 1 person

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