graphically slaughtered

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 24 13:29:34 UTC 2012

I posted the following last August 3:

"Another CNN analyst explained that the UN is reluctant to get involved in
countries like Syria 'no matter how gruesome or graphic the government is
treating its own people.'"


On Sat, Mar 24, 2012 at 12:07 AM, Neal Whitman <nwhitman at>wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Neal Whitman <nwhitman at AMERITECH.NET>
> Subject:      graphically slaughtered
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> From _Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch_'s movie review of _The Hunger Games_, by
> Frank Gabrenya:
> "Although much of the book's violence has been sanitized for a PG-13
> rating,
> the combat scenes are too fast and blurry to tell who is slaughtering whom,
> much less how graphically."
> At first, I inferred from the wording that "graphic(ally)" simply means
> "really violent(ly)" in Gabrenya's idiolect, given that he uses it to
> modify
> a verb that doesn't have "show" or "describe" as part of its semantics
> (i.e.
> "slaughter"), and in fact separates graphicness from how visible it is.
> With
> Gabrenya's meaning, the fact that you can't tell much about the
> slaughtering
> does not mean that the slaughter is not very graphic.
> However, I Googled "graphically slaughtered" and got hits such as "Extended
> sequences show Americans being graphically slaughtered in the natives'
> counterattack." This is more interesting now. To graphically slaughter
> someone means to do it in such a way that viewers of a recording of the
> event get a really detailed look. Even though "graphically" syntactically
> modifies "slaughtered", it has as much to do with how a camera crew
> captures
> the event as how the slaughterer does the deed.
> Neal Whitman
> Email: nwhitman at
> Blog:
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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