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09 June 2003

I have to rant a bit. This is about one of those horribly sloppy usages of language that I cannot stand. At the bottom of the Guardian online, for the past three weeks or so, there has appeared the headline : Untold stories of those who died during the war on Iraq. If these stories are untold, what is the point of the article? Is it not to tell these stories, and does that not make them no longer "untold"? My position is that an "untold" story being "finally" told in a news item, documentary, whatever, must be at least a few years old, and preferably about 20 or more. The Iraq War is not even (really) over yet!

While I am ranting, I have to relate one of the worst, that still gets me going even though it happened over a year ago. One of the most debased and meaningless cliches in constant use here in Britain is "at the end of the day". (In the average two minute sports interview, you tend to hear it maybe five or six times.) The former Education Minister, Estelle Morris, said, in an early morning interview on BBC radio, referring to school children arriving at school : "At the end of the day, in the morning, . . . " I tell you, it's enough to put one off ones breakfast.

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