Saturday, 2 February 2019

A Mixed Metaphor

Sometimes an utterance is so deliciously absurd it deserves to be shared. The context? The Victoria City council is looking at ways of suing oil and gas companies for their contribution to climate change. Alberta premier Rachel Notley points out the “astounding” hypocrisy of launching this proposed lawsuit “while Victoria is pumping over 100 million litres of raw sewage into the ocean every day”. In response, Councillor Ben Isitt observĂ©s that the premier seems unaware that Victoria is building a new sewage treatment plant. He then applauds Victoria’s concern for the environment:

In the City of Victoria, we’re putting a strong climate action lens front and centre.

Current political jargon requires that policy makers look at issues through a particular “lens”. In this case, the word has taken on a life of its own. The purpose of a metaphor is to clarify meaning by creating an image in the mind of the reader.  I struggle to imagine the councillors pushing ahead of them a large lens, a giant eye, perhaps, like something out of Lord of the Rings.