Thursday, 21 August 2008

To be offensively offensive.

Consider, if you will, the two meanings of the word "offensive". Work out the slightly but significantly different pronunciations associated with each meaning.

Isn't it fascinating that two such seemingly disparate meanings can grow out of one word? To offend. To go on the offensive.

One meaning inherently aesthetic, one meaning inherently aggressive.

Does that mean that aggression is, inherently, aesthetically bad?

And does
that mean that the current trend, as exemplified by TV ratings schedules, to give the merest hint of sexuality a sterner eye than casual violence, is a modern thing and that the evolution of language has been in the other direction which is, I would suggest, a more hopeful sign?


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