Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Clearly not

Watching the news on the BBC frequently in the last few months means that - strangely enough - I regularly see British politicians interviewed. And this has led me to an increasing dislike of the adverb "clearly".

Inevitably, it's used in situations such as "as I have clearly said".

Firstly, we are none of us best-placed to judge the clarity of our own language use to others.

Secondly, if you have to tell other people you were being clear, you're being condescending. It's telling them they're too stupid or inattentive to have realized on their own how effective your communication was.

Until now, I'd never realized how insulting nominal clarity could be.



Nov. 25th, 2012 04:38 pm (UTC)
It's a British English thing -- the pol is emphasising that they have said whatever before and it is on the record somewhere. The use of "clearly" doesn't insinuate that the putative listener can't understand what they are talking about in the interview.

My vocabulary bugbear comes from radio where leading questions often result in the interviewee beginning their reply with "Absolutely".
Nov. 25th, 2012 04:55 pm (UTC)
I'm British and I find it offensive, and judging from their faces the interviewers aren't too happy with it either.