Long after chilly days, a toothless nuke pops under the Irony ...

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A WORD IN THE HAND: NUCLEAR

Long after chilly days, a toothless nuke pops under the Irony Curtain

FREE TO READ | A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

I don’t know whether Russians have a word for irony. Perhaps in Russia there is nothing at all ironic (or whatever they call it) about two Tupolev Tu-160 nuclear-capable bombers landing at Waterkloof air base in SA in the same week as the first Russia-Africa summit, aimed at strengthening the Kremlin’s influence on the continent, took place in the Russian city of Sochi.

Irony is a much-maligned word, but perhaps “nuclear” has had an even harder time of it. If ever a word needed protection from the forces that threaten to blow its contained universe to bits, that word is nuclear.

First, there are the people who mispronounce it as “new-kew-lar”, which must be immensely disturbing to its equilibrium. ..

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