Zhaba Zhournal
Friday, March 05, 2004 
Wars and words 
Another "today in history" (I hope I don't resort to these too often): on March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill delivered his "iron curtain" speech (that's a link to the actual 1946 New York Times article). I don't know if that's the first time he used the phrase, but it's the one that brought it to international attention and added it to the cold war lexicon.

How the heck did Winston Churchill get so good at speaking and speechwriting, anyway? "The end of the beginning," "so much to so few," "I shall be sober in the morning." Politicians just don't seem to be able to do that anymore.

(A year or so ago J. read the great Churchill biography "The Last Lion"; perhaps I'll embark upon it. The most...I don't want to say amazing, but surprising thing about it, to me, was that it ends at the start of World War II. The whole two-volume, hundreds-of-pages enterprise is just the lead-up to the days of what I think I can legitimately refer to as his greatness. I just wish the biographer had written a third and maybe fourth volume, covering the war and post-war years; if the introduction is so amazing, what would the centerpiece be like?)

(I realize I used the words "great" and "amazing" several times in that paragraph, and I mean them literally; not "That was a great dinner" or "What an amazing episode of 'CSI'," but "great" as in "remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness...markedly superior in character or quality" and "amazing" as the inflected form of "amaze," "to fill with wonder" [those are from the Merriam-Webster Web site].)

(Okay, I'm a language nerd. I did start this entry with "wars and words.")

[ at 9:40 AM • by Abby • permalink  ]

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