Aah, the Queens English.
I love it.
I love it even more when someone uses a word that sounds good or clever, but obviously isn’t what they wanted or intended to say (or did they 😉 )
But I love it even more when half a dozen ‘smart’ people see the clever word and let it slide on through to publication.
Case in point is the word ‘ostensibly’.
Sounds clever and important, doesn’t it?
But, ostensibly actually means ‘while it appears or is stated to be true, it is not necessarily so’.
‘Ostensibly’ is a negative word that casts doubt upon the validity or truthfulness of a stated ‘fact’ or proposition.
For example, if a journalist or commentator was to say, “the Right Honourable Gentleman has resigned his post, ostensibly for family reasons” – he has, deliberately, cast doubt upon the validity of the politician’s stated reason for quitting.
Or another example could be, “America sent troops into the war-torn country, ostensibly to restore law and order. Critics believe the real reason was to shore up threatened oil supplies”.
So, what then is one to make of the RAAF’s assertion here that, “RIMPAC seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations”.
Could the RAAF actually be trying to tell us that, while peace and stability in the region is the stated aim of RIMPAC, it’s really a ruse for something else entirely.
Should this give our allies cause for concern in diplomatic circles, one wonders?
Should this give Australian citizens cause for concern?
Or is this a case of some clever clogs OR using words above his/her pay grade? – words which were ostensibly cleared for publication by up to six individuals in the officer ranks.
Or – did those officer ranks deliberately clear the sentence ostensibly planning to rely on the ‘human error’ defence if found out?
The mind boggles.
Sir Jeffrey Armiger is dedicated to the eradication of BE. Follow Sir Jeffrey on Facebook here.