Tuesday, June 30, 2015

ISIS is “Expanding Like an Oil Slick”; Justice Kennedy’s “Veins Sticking Out in His Neck” -- Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize Something

Here are some recent examples of articulate people using a vivid, evocative expression while emphasizing something and thus making their assertion indelible--examples which, I hope, will inspire the rest of us into similarly imaginative use of the language, especially when we are trying to break through the clutter.

  • During a five day period late last month, terrorists expressing fealty to ISIS made sensational strikes in Africa, Asia, and Europe. They attacked a beach resort in Tunisia, a mosque in Kuwait, an American industrial firm in France, and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. Shortly thereafter, former CIA director James Woolsey told BBC: “ISIS is expanding like an oil slick. They are getting more and more  bold…” 
  • [From the June 26, 2015, edition of PBS’s “Washington Week in Review”]  While discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding the nationwide availability of tax subsidies under Obamacare (a 6-3 ruling, thanks to Roberts and Kennedy siding with the four liberal justices), panelist Pete Williams of NBC drew the following contrast with the Court’s previous high-profile ruling on Obamacare--the one in 2012, when only Roberts sided with the four liberals: “…In 2012, Anthony Kennedy was just, veins sticking out in his neck, opposed to the law. This time, granted it was a different question, he was all along with the chief justice.” 
© Copyright 2015  V. J. Singal

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