Sunday 27 April 2014

Fisking and Pilgering

In the ...and other matters section of this blog, please let me steer you towards a fine fisking of the Independent's Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk from CiF Watch's Adam Levick. It outlines Mr Fisk's latest "distortions, half-truths and fabrications". 

No one is more deserving of a fisking than Robert Fisk (even Jeremy Bowen).

According to the Collins English Dictionary 'to fisk' means 'to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point'. Many of us have fisked things over the years. 

The verb 'to fisk' and the noun 'fisking' have caught on to such an extent that they are becoming commonplace.

Sadly the same hasn't happened to the verb 'to pilger' and its associated noun 'Pilgerism'. Both of those were coined by Auberon Waugh in honour of John Pilger. 

'Pilgerism' would be a very helpful term though in describing some aspects of the work of, say, the BBC's Hugh Sykes. It would mean "to earnestly fasten on to some element in a situation which has a half-grain of truth, to ignore the rest of the package and to present the half-grain in isolation as the true essence."

If only my fellow bloggers could help to popularise 'pilger'! 

Unfortunately, according to the Urban Dictionary, 'to pilger' already has another, very different meaning: "The act, undertaken by a lesbian, of causing a predominantly straight girl to question her heterosexuality. Usually involves excessive charm and schmoozing", which is something John Pilger certainly can't be accused of in any way, shape or form.

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