Thursday, August 17, 2006

All Purpose Phrases

Billy, on the common phrase "play a role", with usage as in "Community-based activism played a role in the achievement of social justice in Pol Pot's Cambodia":

Why does almost everyone now look at the actions of real life as the equivalent of the artifice of the stage? Or: if that is not what they see, then why do they constantly use that language with such determined ubiquity?
Me, I'm still trying to understand the difference between an "issue" and a "controversy" in Media-val English. How do you tell them apart?

Maybe it's because I went into science instead of journalism, but it seems to me that these words are now interchangeable, with one only selected over the other depending on whether a two- or four-syllable word fits the desired soothing stress pattern of the sentence being spoken.

Does anyone know of a "controversy" that isn't also an "issue", or an "issue" that isn't also a "controversy"?

1 Comment:

Pietr said...

Play a role so that your action can be witnessed by the fixated fixtures of the social firmament.

To paraphrase The Fountainhead
"In the future the role of the novelist will disappear and the literary critic will commentate directly on events".-One of Toohey's cronies.