The dangers of misleading metaphors – War

Consider “war”, another popular trope. Wars on poverty, drugs and terrorism have all failed. Why? Politicians aim to summon one element of the “war” metaphor when they use it: an intense national struggle. But there is another crucial part of war, namely the adversary.

In a real war, they fight back and might win. When your side prevails, the foe might be persuaded to formally surrender on the deck of the battleship Missouri. Drugs or poverty or terrorism don’t do that, leaving the public that had been roused by the talk of “war” frustrated. The metaphor backfires. You don’t need to be Sun Tzu to know that you shouldn’t declare a war that cannot be won.

— The Economist, in ‘The dangers of misleading metaphors

What does ‘x-times less’ mean?

TransferWise, for example, charges six times less for international cash transfers than Santander, a high-street bank.

—The Economist in ‘The great foreign exchange rip-off is coming to an end


I’ve never understood using multiples for discounts. What does charging ‘six times less’ even mean?
I understand what charging ‘a sixth’ means – ⅙ times the original.
I understand what charging ‘six times’ (more) means – 6 times the original.
I do not understand what ‘six times less’ means. It’s a ridiculously ambiguous term, and I’m sad that even the Economist used it.

P.S.: I love Transferwise. I cannot comprehend how people transferred money internationally before it came around – it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s transparent. Everything that the banking system is not. I really love it.

Surreal….

“I’ve been working on average 22 hours days…and I can’t tell if I’m dreaming or I’m actually talking to you. I’m also on six mood stabilisers and it’s waves of rage and suicidal ideation and seeing Michael Jackson bunnies coming out of my eyes…I should take a little nap.”

The surreal and hyper-humane humour of “Lady Dynamite”

The fertile world of Nigerian patois

The Pidgin phrase Naija no dey carry last, roughly meaning “Nigerians strive to finish first”, has become an unofficial national motto (as well as the title of a book satirising the country).

The fertile world of Nigerian patois, August 8, 2017 at 10:56AM

The celebrated novelist Chinua Achebe’s defence of writing in English, rather than his native Igbo, would ring true today whether spoken by politician or pop star. “We intend to do unheard-of things with it.”