I want to be “perfectly clear”

Dear Editor,
It seems every few years our language changes and just when we think we understand what the next generation is talking about, in comes another batch of peculiar sayings.

Going back to my teenage years, there were expressions such as “in a pig’s ear”, which had nothing to do with a swine’s hearing.  When we were exasperated we would let everyone know by uttering the profound saying “Oh for crying in the mud!”

Later on  I realized these were commonly known as idioms and because they didn’t really mean what the words implied they were quickly replaced.

In the last 10 years or so, I have  become acutely aware of the latest idioms that are peculiar to individuals in position so power.

Presidents, prime ministers and other who live in the political arena are often heard using two popular idioms when addressing the populace.

The individuals assume a very serious expression and stance, stares intently into the camera lens and begins;
“I want to be ‘perfectly clear’ ” regarding  . . . and on and on they go, winding up with the second most popular idiom of our day “our government is committed to being ‘completely transparent’ with the citizens of our country!”

It took me quite awhile to understand that when using these expressions the individuals really do not mean what the words normally imply.

For instance when being “perfectly clear” about a 10 billion dollar deficit, the current government was really talking about growth, jobs and infrastructure.

This also applied to the raising of taxes on the wealthy, offsetting the lowering of middle class income tax.

They somehow miscalculated, but the difference was rather insignificant, only about one billion short.

Oh, and about the 25,000/10,000 refugees, they really had no idea how to accomplish that, but they assured us it would happen.

December 31 really meant ah, was it February or maybe April?

It’s tricky to catch onto all of these idioms, especially for an old gal like me.

But I want to be “perfectly clear” about this, as our government becomes more and more “completely transparent” I am beginning to see right through them!

Faye Pearson,
Stettler, Ab.

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