When a phantasmic chimera in judge’s robes sweeps down, be afraid

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WORDS IN THE HAND: CHIMERA and CALICO

When a phantasmic chimera in judge’s robes sweeps down, be afraid

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

In her judgment of the conduct of the man everyone is talking about (again) this week, acting deputy chief justice Sisi Khampepe gave an address of the utmost thoughtful elegance, a work of such eloquence it deserves to be enshrined in the World Book of Best Oratory.

Most people, I imagine, were so focused on the outcome (will he, won’t he, will he go to jail?) that they did not notice the exquisite language employed by the judge. 

I’m not talking about the legalese, which had, of necessity, to be there, nor of the excoriating adjectives she used to describe our one-time president (recalcitrant, insolent, scurrilous, unprecedented, inimitable, egregious, contemptuous and outlandish among these), but about two words that particularly struck a chord in my word-nerd soul...

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