One of Ireland’s newspapers reputedly aspires to be the Paper of Record. To be serious on the point it ought to have this vainglorious claim beneath its masthead; it does’nt, correctly.
It cannot be such, because of its necessarily accepted constraints. A true Paper of Record would explain. No Irish newspaper explains. They cannot, because to explain is to judge. To judge is, often, to defame. No average newspaper (in Britain or Ireland) can defame persistently and survive.
What the Paper of Record needs is a lexicon of terms which are inaccurately defined, like “cute hoor”. (Click HERE to read its inadequate definition).
Let us insist that it is flattering to say of the Pope, say, that he is a cute hoor. (He is not). We would be free then, with such a lexicon, to say what we think of our public servants; especially those who are Secretaries General of Government Departments, or those who, against reason, are trumpeted (often by themselves) as “independent” in filling some regulatory role or other.
This policy would have drawbacks; immigrants to Ireland would have to learn the conventional meaning of terms and then the real meaning. (It would be important to ensure they cannot sit on juries until they are fully inducted into Irish life. We have no problems with burkas; just meanings). (What would be the run of conversation between an Examiner and an immigrant qualifying for jury duty?).
The policy may have other drawbacks; what if the immigrants don’t know when to stop?
They might start referring to Mr. So-and-so as “a popular barrister in the Law Library”; or Judge So-and-so as “respected”. These terms have, in fact, meanings which are the reverse of their ostensible meaning.
The Paper of Record is written like this.
What is it really saying?
“…to explain is … often, to defame.”
I reject that.