Saturday, 9 January 2010


Have you noticed how often on news programmes they refer to “carnage on the roads” when talking about roads filled with abandoned vehicles or a couple of dented cars?

Drives me nuts. Carnage to me conjures up pictures of bloody battlefields, piles of corpses, mass slaughter and the like.

Is it part of our living language that the use of the word is changing or just sloppy use of English? Why not chaos on the roads?

We walked to Iceland this morning – the shop not the country – and stocked up a bit. It’s about a four mile round trip.

We went via the seafront which was bitingly cold as you would expect.

I only took a couple of photos. The two lighthouses are known as the Leading Lights. In days of old mariners would line up the two lights one above the other and know they were on the safe passage into the harbour.

You can see the black sky in the east. It’s brought more snow. Thank you sky, that’s just what we needed, more flipping snow.

And snow on the beach, you don’t see that very often.

It was nice watching people sledging down the slopes on everything from carrier bags to inflatable mattresses. Teenage girls wrapped in bin bags, bald men with red heads and no hats and kids having so much fun, but no I wasn’t tempted to join them.


  1. The LSO and I remember those lighthouses. Win was parked where all that snow is now.
    It has to be cold to have snow on the beach.

  2. We had a few more flurries here earlier this am, Teresa, it stopped but I hear we are due more tomorrow. I want warm summer days! Well I will until we actually get them and I start moaning that I want the snow back!

    Julie xx

  3. Yes, still snowing here, too. But it had warmed up a bit today - up to 0 degrees at lunchtime, which was a vast improvement on the -11 during the day on Thursday. It felt quite warm in the sun - one man was even spotted wearing a short sleeved t-shirt as he walked his dog.


  4. I ventured out for the first time in ages yesterday, and it was actually very pleasant in the sun. I getting a bit bored of the snow now though. Enough!

  5. Lol! I'm with you Teresa! I think they're over doing the drama. Chaos on the roads is much more appropriate

  6. Teresa

    There is a change in the use of language, and it's largely due to the competitive nature of news media today. So many outlets for so little news. A cat cannot get stuck up a tree anymore. But emergency services may be deployed to tackle a clawed creature which poses a considerable threat to anyone approaching it without protective clothing and a recognised certificate in health and safety.

    I was fascinated to read about your 'leading lights'. A clever idea and something I'd never heard of before. Thank you.

  7. It does annoy me when the news is over dramatised. Most of it is distressing enough anyway - why do they need to make everything seem even worse than it really is?

  8. Weather was very different that day wasn’t it, Lynne.

    We had loads more snow yesterday, Julie then last night we could hear it breaking and falling and this morning there seems to be a bit of a thaw setting in. I’m not counting any chickens though, although talking of birds, the wild birds do seem happier this morning.

    -11 Suzanne!! Blimey. Tee hee – the man in a T-shirt walking his dog. I saw one the other day jogging through the snow – in shorts. I’ve never seen legs such a bright shade of red.

    It is getting boring now isn’t it, Helen.

    They do like to talk it up, Lacey.

    How true, Martin.
    We have two older leading lights than these in the town which were used before changes in the channel into the harbour. Leading lights are still used in some parts of the world as navigational aids and in the USA they are called range lights.

    Me too, Patsy. I saw a headline on a local newspaper site the other week “Bridge Collides with Woman.” Hm.

  9. Yes, the world of changing language can cause problems, and I too blame it on the media trying to hype up stories. I read the other day that whereas we use the word 'decimate' to mean 'completely destoyed' or 'completely wiped out' it actually means 'one in ten destroyed' (hence why it begins with 'deci' meaning ten').

    Love the snow pictures. Won't be long before we start seeing glaciers will it?

  10. The word that annoys me is 'amazing'. Everything is amazing. You hear it all the time on the news, on tv programmes and in conversation.

  11. "Awesome" seems to be another. The trouble is when words like this are used casually, they cease to have meaning. So what do we then use when we actually want to convey "awesome"? Hummmm!

  12. Snow on the beach is amazing and awesome (sorry!) We had snow on the beach here in Bournemouth too. It seems all wrong.

  13. That's interesting, Simon - I didn't know that about decimate.

    I quite like the word amazing, Annieye - but then I am easily amazed!

    But yes, it does weaken words like awesome when they are over used doesn't it, Lydia.

    It does indeed, Womag.

  14. It's interesting the different shapes leading lights (or range lights) take. We too have snow on the beaches in the winter. It's a beautiful sight indeed. Martin H. referred me here after reading my post on range lights:Sepia Saturday - Church and Lighthouse Line Up
    Media has done a lot to "dumb down" the English language especially American sensationalist media.

  15. Thank you for dropping by CrazyasaCoolFox - I'm off to visit your blog now!