Semantic absurdity

October 28, 2007

Following from my recent post about Terrorism in New Zealand, I enjoyed Finlay MacDonald’s opinion piece in the Sunday Star Times today.  Here’s my favourite quote:

Leaving the legal niceties aside for now, there is something semantically absurd about a single word underpinning the redrawing of boundaries in a free society. At its root, “terror” is just a noun meaning “extreme fear”. George Bush didn’t just declare war on a noun, as has often been jokingly claimed, but on an emotion, too. Even if you use “fear” as a verb, it only means to be afraid of something. But then, the War on Being Extremely Afraid of Something doesn’t have quite the same ring.

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