Yesterday, about the Chelsea bombing, I heard a TV journalist say - and it seemed to roll off his tongue:
"They haven't determined terroristic motives"
"Terroristic motives". I stumbled on the phrase.
On this blog we've been discussing the wordplay being used by journalists, officials and even us and our fellow New Yorkers - the dilemma, to use or not use the term "terrorism".
"Terroristic motives" seems to be another painfully tortured effort by a speaker to find his way in this new linguistic maze.
I'm wondering if the word "terrorism" falls into any of our iconic categories - "commie" "pinko" or "bolshie" ; or "grasshopper", "wetback" or "taco jockey" or "yid" , "kike" "mick" or "guido"
History reports we spewed these terms without even so much as a stutter.
But now there’s this old act (terrorism) embedded in a more complex world and we seem to be tongue tied.
Perhaps we’ll devise an endless list of of “ ______-inspired terrorisms” to talk about terrorism.
Linguistic ingenuity is ours. But what will this get us. Refine our talk about terrorism, or take us further from talking about it?