Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The value of a good dictionary

Another good old fashioned Heffer error on display today, in what is actually a less than usually infuriating article.

Labour has pursued policies, be they social or economic, for ideological reasons: and when they fail, as so many have, it has not been because of slipshod administration. It is because that was how things were always going to work out.

I mention this in the specific context of the House of Lords report on the benefits - or lack of them - of mass immigration. The theory applies, however, to much else, immediate or not. Some feel that mass immigration happened by accident; or that Labour's economic miracle was, indeed, so miraculous that it required hecatombs of foreigners to come here and undertake it.

Now, this is absolutely true - but it's always a good idea, when using archaic and impressive-looking words, to check that you know what they mean. The word hecatomb, for instance, looks very serious and intellectual.

a Hecatomb (Ancient Greek ἑκατόμβη / hekatómbê) was a sacrifice to the gods of 100 cattle (hecaton = one hundred)

I knew this word as it happens - it first came to my attention in a speech by Boris Johnson. He, as befits a classicist, used it in a speech about foot and mouth disease.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yadda yadda yadda. You find such minutiae interesting? Surely the overwhelming message of gross, malicious, injury to the nation is more relevant to all of us than interpretation of an obscure word?
It is deeply disturbing that the population of this island is so dozy, so stupified by state debauchery, that it cannot identify and correct it's headlong descent into corruption. Heffer is one of the few effective voices raised with conviction against a government from hell. Only the usual Gramscian fifth column try to undermine his warnings.

5:33 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

Not sure I've ever been described as Gramscian before - and my problem with Heffer is that his voice is raised so often in apocaplyptic sneering that it begins to lose its effect quite quickly.

9:46 am  
OpenID lettersfromatory said...

They could have just said "a lot of foreigners", you know.

10:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That word "sneering". So Gramscian, and so smearing!
Heffer will always attract the criticism of the left leaning pseuds, who so dislike hard truth.Hence the disdain of the present Conservative party, cadet branch of the NuLabour Blairian party.

4:39 pm  
Blogger Tim J said...

Yikes, enough already with the Gramscian! I am not a political theorist, still less a sociologist, still less a Marxist. Heffer does write with a perpetual sneer - as can be seen by his constant reference to 'Dave' among other things - and I dislike it.

Disliking Heffer is not, however, synonymous with being soft-left. A quick squizz at the title of this blog might give a clue to my political leanings, though I believe Heffer may have joined UKIP.

4:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where else could Heffer go? The homogenous socialist-centrist ruling political class pervades our country, and it's anti-British anti traditionalist destruction drags us all down. The politicians have finally abandoned the people in favour of personal looting of our treasury while any sane voice raised against our self immolation is attacked by those who wish to destroy us.

9:04 am  
Blogger Tim J said...

The problem with apocalyptic denunciations of the decline of society is that they rearely lead anywhere. Eugene Terreblanche had a nice line in them, as did the Rev Ian Paisley in his earlier incarnation.

Their speeches were impressively dramatic, their diagnoses of society's ills plausible (well, ish) but they were fundamentally pointless. Heffer is getting that way too. And please provide some sort of handle - anonymous is jolly boring.

2:08 pm  

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