Tag Archives: Hyperbole

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Apology (of sorts)

I apologise to the un-named pastor for my at times hyperbolic reaction to his reaction to my theological position on climate change.

We disagree. Fundamentally on the issue. But some of what I said was graceless and made the same mistakes I accuse said un-named pastor of making – namely casting aspersions on his character and ministry on the basis of his criticism.

I will leave the whole post as is because discussions is ongoing and I think with this disclaimer the spirit and tone of discussion can be rescued somewhat.

That is all.

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I’ll bet…

The mighty Manly Warringah Sea Eagles are on a roll. I was so confident they’d beat the Panthers that I placed a bet with a friend of mine who happens to support them. Is this wrong? If I was sure the Sea Eagles were going to win isn’t that tantamount to stealing? If I was uncertain – is that poor stewardship of my money? Is gambling in and of itself wrong – or is it the associated greed? I don’t want the $5 that Pat is going to have to cough up because his team are unable to function effectively as a unit – I wasn’t motivated by greed. I just like to win. A game is infinitely more enjoyable if there’s actually something weighing on the outcome – by enjoyable I mean exciting – there’s more adrenalin involved if you actually might win or lose something depending on the outcome. But am I going to hell because of this bet? (well no, I’m not going to hell… at this point that was a little bit of rabbitical hyperbole… not that I’m claiming to be a Rabbi, or a rabbit…) Is gambling sinful? Should we be condoning or facilitating any form of greed. The Catholics have been running Bingo competitions as fundraisers for years so they obviously don’t have a problem with it. Neither does the Australian Chief Executive of Woolworths who is a professing Christian.

In that story above (by above I mean contained in the link above…) he made some pretty carefully considered statements about the decision his company has made to invest in a series of gaming establishments.

“I don’t think that’s a moral judgment, I think what is a moral judgment is that one needs to be careful and concerned about the environment in which they sell in the market facilities of that nature.”

While personally I don’t have a problem with gambling if you can remove the element of greed from the equation – if it’s budgeted entertainment with no addiction involved then go for it… who am I to say that using a pokie machine is any less fun than playing an arcade game. My problem is making a distinction like Mr Woolworths (not his real name) has made here. It reminds me of a scene from the Godfather where the Mafia Dons (head honchos) are gathered round a table discussing a move into the narcotics industry – one of them says ”

“I don’t want it near schools — I don’t want it sold to children! That’s an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people — the colored. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls… “

Somehow the logic in both those quotes seems strikingly similar to me – as long as we’re careful where we put the bad stuff people can go and do the bad stuff if they choose to. Gambling addiction is, without question, a destructive thing. Like the Whitlams I wish I could blow up the pokies… but then I’d lose out on cheap pub steaks designed to attract gamblers. So in conclusion I haven’t exactly figured out my position on gambling yet… but I thought that article was interesting… particularly the quote below, and the fact that Mr Woolworths said he’d be happy to sell bullets at supermarkets if it was legal and there was demand for them. Again, not a moral decision apparently. But where do we draw the line for Christians involved in business? Is it wrong to work at Maccas if they cause obesity? Is it wrong to be a lawyer? I think Mr Woolworths actually has it right in this case…

“I believe that I’ll be accountable one day for my life and so to that extent I’ll be accountable for my integrity,” he said.

literally… not figuratively

This is literally the best blog topic suggestion I’ve ever received…

“I would like you to write about the misuse of the word ‘literal,’ and about how ironic it is that the word literal has lost its literal meaning. It really annoys me when I hear comments on A Current Affair stating that “These are literally the tenants from hell.”” – Joel.

Well Joel I would quite literally love to write about that… and I will… now.

Literally literally means to:

  1. In a literal manner; word for word: translated the Greek passage literally.
  2. In a literal or strict sense: Don’t take my remarks literally.

Incorrect usage of the word really bothers me too. I would suggest that a more appropriate word, in most cases where literally is used out of context is in fact the word literarily.

  1. Of, relating to, or dealing with literature: literary criticism.
  2. Of or relating to writers or the profession of literature: literary circles.
  3. Versed in or fond of literature or learning.
    1. Appropriate to literature rather than everyday speech or writing.
    2. Bookish; pedantic.

If tabloid journalists began using literarily instead of literally it would literally solve half the problem over night.

For example the quote “These are literarily the tenants from hell” – could be acceptable if the show went on to prove that the tenants were of a hellacious nature. For it to be literally true, one or more of the following points must be demonstrably true:
1. The tenant is in fact Satan.
2. The house is in fact hell.
3. The tenant is actually dead, and the report has been beamed back from hell.
4. The house is in Ipswich (replace this suburb with the westernmost suburb in your city – I guess for Townsville readers it’s Charters Towers or somewhere like that).
5. The tenant is demonstrably a demon.
6. The tenant lives in a gambling house
7. The tenant is a scrap of material in a tailor’s box

I agree Joel, Current Affairs programs are literally the worst thing on television. They are literarily a product of hell.

Now on to other pressing issues. I had a thought the other day. Well actually, I had several. This one was to do with the “Drink Drive and you’re a bloody idiot” campaign. It occured to me that there are actually a lot of people in our society who a) are bloody idiots already, b) would like nothing more than to grow up to be a bloody idiot, or c) are not quite bloody idiots but would like to take that next step. It occurs to me that the campaign is flawed on that basis. It occurs to me now that that isn’t as interesting as it seemed in my head when I read it online. Stay tuned for my thoughts on Shakespeare and how lucky he was that his performers didn’t have speech impediments. Try saying Shakespeare with a lisp and it comes out as thakethpeare (and you spit on all the people in the same room as you). But that’s for another post. I may also make some comment about cb’s favourite new word, or new favourite new word. The word is both new, and her new favourite. Allived. To me it sounds a little bit Strongbadian – It’s a great way to transform an adjective to a verb. It’s just a shame alive actually only has one l though really.