Friday, June 29, 2007

Black Death – potentially viable?

Isnt it paradoxical to describe a bomb as ‘potentially viable’? I expect the police used the phrase to suggest to the public that this was a real one that would probably have gone off if they hadn’t found it. They, the police, put a stop to its potential. Perhaps they couldn’t think of the antonym of viable as I cant but decided to go with a cliché that was in the vicinity and anyway language doesn’t mean much these days. In any event isn’t ‘potential’ implicit in ‘viable’? What irritated me was the BBC Breakfast news reporting of the incident as if a ‘potentially viable bomb’ as opposed to ‘a bomb’ actually had some meaning.

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