Saturday, August 28, 2010

In which we use words to mean whatever we like

Anyone following the entertaining shemozzle that Australian federal politics has recently become (usually it's a fairly boring shemozzle) will have noticed in the last few days that Tony Abbott and his henchpersons, most recently Christopher Pearson (whom I know knows better; tch) in this morning's Australian, make reference as often as they can to Julia Gillard 'clinging on' to power.

Now call me a pedant but if anyone can show me any dictionary or lexicon in which 'clinging on' is listed as a synonym for 'following due process', I will give them $10,000. And if Tony Abbott does indeed end up Prime Minister, will they tolerate anyone talking about his having 'forcibly snatched power away from the incumbent Prime Minister'? Because forcibly snatching stuff away is what you have to do, when someone is clinging on. Live by the connotation, die by the connotation.

5 comments:

Ann O'Dyne said...

it desponds me greatly to see The Nation taken-in by the relentless slanging by faceless backroom spinmeisters. dumbclucks believe, truly believe, that Our PM stabbed the previous one. dumbclucks have completely forgotten the revolving-doors Liberal leadership: Malcolm who? he at least knew his meteorology.

somewhere I read a hint of a drinking-problem not yet public.
that's another thing we have to wait on so it does not steal headlines from the main issue of the moment.

JahTeh said...

Brilliant Dr Cat and is it my imagination that Julie Bishop is looking more sharp and haggard as the weeks go on?

Casey said...

Oh dear Pav. I do love you and your affectionate tussles with Christopher. You two are quite delightful.

I do hope he comes on and responds.

Marshall-Stacks said...

refute+repudiate=desist ... according to St. Sarah of Palin, the patron saint of syntactical convoluters.
She claimed to join The Bard as a lexiconographer ... 19 July 2010
"Word of the day: Sarah Palin invents 'refudiate': The Guardian
Possible future US president says 'Shakespeare liked to coin new words too'.
Why not send us your own examples?
www.guardian.co.uk/news/blog/.../sarah-palin-refudiate-new-word"

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Oh I love 'refudiate'!

That's in the same family as my own personal favourite. I once asked my then GP's receptionist some question or other about my account or the doctor's instructions or something, and she replied earnestly 'I don't know, Kerryn -- Doctor didn't stiplify.'