Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Revealed - the death of the word "announced"

click photo to enlarge
I can reveal today that the word, "announced", is officially dead. Procedures have been put in place to expunge it from the dictionary and it will never more be seen again. No one knows when the word last appeared, but searches through newspapers have failed to turn up any recent examples. The usurper of this venerable word is, however, to be seen everywhere, especially in newspapers and on the web. Which word you may be asking, has taken the place of "announced"? I am able to reveal that the usurper is the word, "revealed". Having decided that "announced" is too boring - a straightforward, accurately descriptive word with no hint of mystery, no implication of journalistic enquiry, no impact - the purveyors of the printed word have toiled long and hard to replace it with "revealed". The headline that was seen as crowning the triumph of "revealed" appeared on the BBC News website on 2nd August 2011 and read, "London 2012 Olympic Park neighbourhood names revealed."

There is of course the possibility that a man dressed in evening-wear with a magic wand in one hand dramatically plucked a white cloth off a table to uncover a hidden list of these much sought after names. In which case "revealed" would have been used in the old and proper sense and the announcement of the final expiry of "announced" is premature. Or, perhaps the Olympic committee may have been trying to keep the names of the Olympic Park neighbourhoods from the public for reasons best known to themselves - they could, for example, be as ridiculous as the Olympic 2012 logo - and journalists could have been probing long and hard to bring them to light. In that case too there would have been no usurping of "announced", and revealed would have been perfectly appropriate.

But no, apparently the chief executive of Olympic Park Legacy Company (yes, such a person and organisation does exist) and the Communities Minister (on a day off from destroying what is left of the UK's communities) announced (sorry, "revealed") the names to the summoned representatives of the press. Asked why headlines would say "revealed" instead of "announced" a man from the BBC replied, "because it's sexier and it makes it look like we've done some real journalism to uncover a story."

All of which has nothing to do with today's semi-abstract photograph taken a few months ago. If, by any chance, you're wondering what on earth this blog post is going on about take note of just how many times the word "revealed" is used in a headline where "announced" makes much more sense.

photograph and text (c) T. Boughen

Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.)
F No: f2
Shutter Speed: 1/60
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On