Sunday, May 31, 2015

“Scale of an Old Testament Miracle”; “a Leninist Assertion of State Power” -- 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. 

  • About a month ago, when there was suddenly a high level of activity in the U.S. Senate—a body which seems to be permanently stricken with paralysis—a somewhat satisfied Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” had this to say in his weekly commentary: “By no means is it on the scale of an Old Testament miracle, but some progress is better than no progress.”
  • Referring to the “water rush” that is going on in California’s Central Valley, with people drilling wherever they can thanks to the absence of any regulation on how much water they can take out, a TV interviewer said to Jerry Brown: “You don’t know how much water there is and how much they are taking out… Surely in this emergency you need to get a grip on that more quickly!” To which the California governor responded: “Well, the complexity of California, stretching from the Oregon border to the Mexican border, doesn’t lend itself to a quick (pause) Leninist assertion of state power. This is a more decentralized, more private sector oriented world we live in, so we move at a pace slower than (what you are suggesting).”
  • Rebutting some detractors during a Sunday morning TV show, Peter Schweizer, whose recent book “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” saying: “I’ve given my findings to the New York Times, Bloomberg…these (news organizations) are not cupcakes! They are serious researchers and investigators.”
© Copyright 2015  V. J. Singal

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