Stet by Ria Bacon

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Not sure when this word shift occurred, when a tidal wave became a tsunami. Watched The Jungle Book on Dutch telly last night, moustachioed sterling chappies hacking their way through the undergrowth, "Dem this jungle!" Where did the jungles go? Is rainforest a more context-sensitive term?

Semantics is always a bitch.
Places once called underdeveloped
Are now called mineral rich.
- Gil Scott Heron

I was up early on Boxing Day and heard the first reports from Sri Lanka. I e-mailed my younger sister, who, I thought, was actually there. A few frantic text exchanges with family in the UK established that she was in fact still in Kerala and had barely noticed any change in the sea. A relief for us, but not for all those thousands of distraught people searching for their children among the corpses lain along the roadside.