Wednesday, August 31, 2016

“As if Some Flying Saucer Had Landed on Top of That Tower”; “It Was the Web Equivalent of a 100-Year Flood”--Use of Visual, Evocative Expression to Emphasize One's Point

Here are some recent examples of highly effective communicators 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.
  • At a memorial service held on August 1 to mark the 50th anniversary of the shooting massacre at UT Austin’s Clock Tower, Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett (who was a student on campus on the day of the shooting) saying: “This massacre, we need to remember, occurred before terms like gun violence, mass shootings, or SWAT teams were even a part of our regular vocabulary. This campus attack was was as unexpected for us in the university community and for our police dept. as if some flying saucer had landed up there on top of that tower.” 
  • Earlier this month, while presenting his “Brief but Spectacular” view of The New Yorker to PBS “NewsHour,” the magazine’s editor David Remnick saying: “...Everybody does his or her job in a moment in time. My moment in time is not only to make the magazine as great as it possibly can be but help us cross this technological and even financial roaring river of change. The Internet is at the center of everybody’s attention... and I have to leave a New Yorker that’s got its soul as well as its technological act together.”
  • (this one from my 2013 archives) Describing the events of Sept. 11, 2001--also known as 9/11--journalist and author Molly Knight Raskin telling PBS “NewsHour”:  “Websites were being swamped and overwhelmed by people desperate to get information on their loved ones...there was a crush of requests; it was the web equivalent of a 100-year flood! In fact, and other well-known news websites crashed that morning.”
© Copyright 2016  V. J. Singal

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