Sunday, 5 July 2015

Reading from the Same Old Script.

There’s been a murder or some fatal accident and a senior police officer is giving a statement to the press. He looks like an animated mannequin dressed in starch and plastic, dripping shiny buttons. In fact, he looks so artificially smart that he could be trying to impersonate a West Point cadet being presented to the colonel’s mother after the passing out parade. He gives the statement in predictably subdued tones, the like of which seem transparently unfamiliar to him, and then finishes with the final sentence:

Our thoughts are with the victim’s family at this sad time.

They say it every time, and if I were a member of the attending press I would want to raise my hand at that point and ask him:

‘If you truly feel the sadness of the time, couldn’t you come up with an alternative to the same sad old cliché that everybody else uses? Only it doesn’t really ring true, you see.’

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