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Monday, 11 February 2008

Power Phrase

After the first day’s Synod session, veteran radio broadcaster Trevor Barnes was looking for quotes. Initially he was standing in the wrong place to get sensible comments - a queue for food, with hungry synod members that had too low a blood-sugar level to give relevant comments. Too deep in discussion to notice him advancing, Alan, Rhiannon & I were hi-jacked by by the hopeful reporter with too much empty ‘tape’ on what stand for the modern-day Uher.


We had a brief discussion, off mic, about what the Archbishop had said or not said. Had the Archbishop said enough to settle the minds of synod members were asked? Most felt yes indeed, he had huge support from Synod, as the long standing ovation made clear. But had he communicated clearly to those outside? Possibly not. Alan said that such a complex issue could not be compressed into a sound-bite.


Yet a sound-bite was exactly what the media, and what the ordinary public needed, countered the journalist. Well if not a sound-bite, at least a Power Phrase. 


Now that’s great, I thought to myself. A Power Phrase. Something that summed up what the Archbishop was saying, but not reducing it to just a catchphrase, rather a Power Phrase. It sounds awesome. It sounds prophetic. It seemed very fitting to the gravitas and intellect of the theologian that is the archbishop.


Only then did it become clear that I had miss-heard. It was not Power Phrase at all. Trevor had said a “paraphrase” of what the archbishop had said was what was needed. I was really rather deflated. And it must have been my mis-hearing, rather than Trevor’s excellent diction. Paraphrase was not nearly so impressive.


I rather wish it had been Power Phrase instead though…


Alastair GS101 

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