The Strongest Possible Cliché

‘I hereby denounce linguistic laziness in the strongest possible terms, “the strongest possible terms” being the strongest possible term I could come up with even though it’s neither strong nor much of a term and can’t, by any stretch, be said to push the expressive possibilities of outrage. But I’m in abundant global company, in which the point seems to be to aim low when in high dudgeon:
Dlamini in hot water after calling for no action against Manana — “Such deplorable treatment of victims of violence is reprehensible and shameful to say the least, and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
UOSSM Strongly Condemns Killing of 7 White Helmets Staff — UOSSM condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of seven White Helmets (Syrian Civil Defense) staff In Idlib, Syria.”
Matiang’i says criminals looting property during demos — “We are condemning with the strongest possible terms the use of excessive force by Kenyan security forces in quelling post-election protests.”
Can Sessions Legally Demand the Press Betray Their Sources? — Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned ‘in the strongest possible terms the staggering number of leaks’ of classified national security information …”
Customs intelligence chief resigns amid shabu smuggling probe — “I deny in the strongest possible terms having received money or any form of bribe from Mr. Mark Taguba. As he himself admitted, he merely relied on text messages. I am not on his list,” said BOC Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Neil Anthony Estrella.”
Why Trump’s Attacks on Mueller Are Getting Some Surprising Pushback — “Rich Lowry, the conservative editor of National Review, appearing on the same Fox News Sunday broadcast, warned the president in the strongest possible terms that purging Mueller would not be a good idea.”
Ulema Scholars Slam Herat Mosque Attack, Say It Was Un-Islamic  — “Several countries including the UN and the European union condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms.”
Mary Beard is right, Roman Britain was multi-ethnic. So why does this upset people so much? — “Rather than an opportunity to reflect on the languages, the literatures, the cross-cultural encounters that textured and enriched the Roman empire, some of the attacks on [professor of classics at the University of Cambridge] Mary Beard are seemingly about negating in the strongest possible terms the presence of dark skin in British history.”
Is This the Most Shameful Thing Trump Has Ever Said? — “It is a shameful day for the presidency, and police agencies across the country should condemn the president’s irresponsible and indefensible comments in the strongest possible terms.”
Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary: North Korea Missile Appears to Have Fallen in Japan EEZ Waters — “[Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide] Suga added that the missile launch was unacceptable and in clear violation of United Nations resolutions, and said Japan had protested in the strongest possible terms.”
House members demand apology from Turkish president — “The State Department said in a statement following the incident that it was communicating its concerns to Turkey in the strongest possible terms.
A Summer Education Meltdown: Why Everyone in DC Is Mad About ESSA, Congress, Charters, Choice — “Nina Rees, president of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, urged Congress ‘in the strongest possible terms’ to raise the cap on non-defense discretionary spending.”
Regional Trial Court judge Godofredo Abul Jr. killed in Butuan City — “The IBP Eastern Mindanao condemns in the strongest possible terms this atrocity.”
AIBA chief Wu responds to ongoing rift, crisis — “The [International Boxing Association] condemns in the strongest possible terms the latest tactics of its Executive Committee, under the unrecognized ‘Interim Management Committee,’ to attempt to illegally seize control of the organization’s headquarters in Lausanne on the morning of 26 July.”
Herman Mashaba vows to endsufferingin billing crisis — “ ‘This is an unacceptable treatment of our residents that I condemn in the strongest possible terms,’ said Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.”
K’Listha vandals target clinics — Mayco Member for area east Councillor Anda Ntsondo has lambasted the incessant vandalism and burglary of clinics in Khayelitsha. ‘We condemn these acts in the strongest possible terms.’ “
Maine Voices: Portland task force’s pesticide ordinance is full of loopholes — “Recent evidence of the harm done by neonicotinoids to both honeybee and wild bee populations makes the case for banning these insecticides in the strongest possible terms.”
Governor Joho bleeding out of wounds sustained during scuffle with police in Migori County — “We deplore in the strongest possible terms this assassination attempt and demand prompt and transparent investigation in order to bring the perpetrators,” said H.E. Hassan Joho on the assassination attempt on ODM leaders in Migori.
Pence on Syria, Assad: ‘All options are on the table — “ ‘I know the president and I and our entire administration condemn this chemical attack in Syria in the strongest possible terms,’ Pence said.”
Supreme Court Delivers Huge Patent Win To Small Business — “But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected the appellate court’s thinking in the strongest possible terms.”
RS Claims Police Stopped Truck From Entering Green Zone — “ ‘I condemn the attack in Kabul, in which dozens of people were injured and killed, in the strongest possible terms,’ said Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.”
Possible class action over chemotherapy saga — “St Vincent’s rejected the report’s critical findings ‘in the strongest possible terms.
Ibrahim Halawa trial delayed for 20th time  — “Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said in a statement, ‘I urge him in the strongest possible terms not to pursue such a course of action, and to protect his health in every possible way.’ ”
Attack tests movement Sanders founded — “ ‘Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms,’ Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement.”
Letter to President Trump — “As the leaders of one of the country’s great institutions of higher education and research, we are writing to assert in the strongest possible terms the importance to the United States of continuing to welcome immigrants and the talent and energy that they bring to this country.”
 
 

10% More Irritable

In the three years, eight months, one week and five days that I’ve been meditating, I’ve become more mindful of the weightlessness of my fleeting thoughts, less prone to inner turbulence, and generally more equanimous thanks to the Buddhist flavorings of the training.

On the other hand, I’ve gotten jack shit done. No second novel, no new standup routine, no trip to Morocco. For the same outcome, I could’ve saved myself three and a half years of retreats and guided meditations and gone straight to a lobotomy.

Thanks Buddha. For bupkes. I want my irritability, and my edge, back.

 

Too Much of a Good Thing?

As Cassius says to Brutus, “I’ll not endure it.” (“Julius Caesar,” Act 4, Scene 3.)

Hm. That’s not quite right. As Goneril says to Oswald, “I’ll not endure it.” (“King Lear,” Act 1, Scene 3.)

Yes! That’s …

Not quite right.

Wait! Now I got it: As Othello says to Iago, “I’ll not endure it.” (“Othello,” Act 3, Scene 3.)

There! Whew. Thanks, Bard!

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Image from BrainPOP