Call Them What You like, but You Can't Change the Nature of Nuclear Weapons
Keleny, Guy, The Independent (London, England)
Errors & Omissions
When did you last read about the danger that Iran or North Korea will acquire a nuclear deterrent, or about worries that Israel might one day use its undeclared nuclear deterrent? No, you never have.
Just as in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, the enigmatic Mr Baldwin declared that where other countries use "force", we Britons alone employ "might", so it is today that where lesser breeds have nuclear "weapons", we Britons alone enjoy the ethical superiority that comes with possession of a "deterrent".
So it was on Monday's front page, where an opinion piece was puffed with the words "We need to think laterally about our nuclear deterrent". Of course, the word "deterrent" is not strictly wrong; nobody imagines that this country intends to use its nuclear weapons aggressively. But shouldn't we just cut out the cant and call a weapon a weapon? The endless repetition of the word "deterrent" creates a weird impression that our nuclear weapons are somehow less nasty than other people's.
Journalese: Thursday's arts page carried an interview with the novelist J P Donleavy. The first paragraph mentioned his "trademark elegantly tailored three-piece suits". Only two paragraphs farther down came this: "His trademark beard now completely white, and his eyes shaded by brown-tinted spectacles ..."
("Warning: This beard (hereinunder known as 'the beard') and all parts thereof, whether white or grizzled or of whatsoever colour, including the moustache and side-whisker areas, constitute a registered trademark under relevant legislation. Any infringement of the owner's intellectual property rights will ...")
We should be grateful that Donleavy has not been wearing glasses all his life, or they would no doubt be a trademark as well.
I think I'll have the bomb: A news story on Monday, about Mr Cameron's Pakistan terrorism gaffe, remarked: "Despite the British and Afghan troops enjoying an element of surprise, the insurgents have been able to lay down …
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Publication information: Article title: Call Them What You like, but You Can't Change the Nature of Nuclear Weapons. Contributors: Keleny, Guy - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: August 7, 2010. Page number: 40. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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