25 December 2011

More gobbledygook from the Archbishop of Canterbury in his Christmas sermon

I wasn't planning to do a blog post today, but couldn't resist it when I saw this clip from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Christmas day sermon.

On previous occasions, I've noted what a hopeless communicator he is (e.g. Inward clutter' in the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter sermon and What does a 147 sentence word sound like?).

Here's another masterpiece. At only 53 words, it may be only about three and a half times longer that the average number of words per sentence in an effective speech (16 words), But does anyone (other than perhaps him) have a clue what it means?

"Whether it is an urban rioter, mindlessly burning down a small shop that serves his community, or a speculator turning his back on the question of who bears the ultimate cost for his acquisitive adventures in the virtual reality of today's financial world, the picture is of atoms spinning apart in the dark."

Other gems from the sermon quoted on the BBC website (HERE) included:

"And the almost forgotten words of the Long Exhortation in the Communion Service, telling people what questions they should ask themselves before coming to the Sacrament, show a keen critical awareness of the new economic order that, in the mid 16th century, was piling up assets of land and property in the hands of a smaller and smaller elite" (60 words).

And the much briefer, but equally unintelligible:

"The Prayer Book is a treasury of words and phrases that are still for countless English-speaking people the nearest you can come to an adequate language for the mysteries of faith."

Atoms spinning apart in the dark?
Meanwhile, Ed Miliband appointed Tim Livesey, a former adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury as his chief of staff only a few days ago. As it said in the Guardian 'Livesey...has been involved in some of the archbishop's more controversial speeches, including one suggesting that sharia law was inevitable in the UK.'

Maybe Miliband knows something we don't, or maybe Livesey isn't as barmy as his former boss.

But it's going to be interesting to see whether or not he's able to give the Labour Party good value for money and their leader some some much needed improvement in his speech-making...


John Zimmer said...

Hi Max,

Thanks for the Christmas post. I already had a sense of where the talk was going from the opening words of the clip: "The most pressing question we now face, we might well say, is who and where we are as a society."

It's not really a question; and, even if framed properly, it would be two questions rather than one.

As always, your ability to blend wit and insight is much appreciated. All the best for a Merry Christmas and a great 2012.


Max Atkinson said...

Thanks, John - and reciprocal greetings to you for 2012.

Roger said...

All perfectly intelligible to me.

Anonymous said...

These are well formed sentences that mean what they say. If you did't understand them you wouldn't hate them so energetically.