This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Insensitive dynamite: a rant.

How do you do?


People are so enthusiastic these days. Time was when the standard answer to how do you do would be how do you do, or, at most, not too bad, thanks. Admitting even to reasonably good health would have been regarded as boastful attention-seeking.

In fact I'd thought that understatement had gone completely out of fashion, even in Britain, but I came across a striking example of it in the i newspaper of 29 July 2014. It was discussing the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. The original plan had been to demolish several tower blocks as part of the fun, but as it happened saner counsels prevailed.

'I confess a morbid disappointment when Commonwealth Games organisers cancelled the demolition of Glasgow's Red Road tower blocks...Some people, understandably, thought this dynamiting insensitive to...those asylum seekers still occupying the remaining tower.'

Insensitive? Blowing up a tower that still had people living in it? Insensitive?

I'm glad, on the whole, that the demolition didn't go ahead. But if it had, I really think that one or two stronger words than insensitive would have been perfectly justified on the part of the inhabitants.

File:Oxgangs towerblock demolition.JPG

Word To Use Today: whoops! The use of whoop or whup as an exclamation of surprise or derision appeared in English in the 1500s.

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