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My newspaper quoted the recently elected president of Liberia:

"We're going to do it right from day one," Johnson-Sirleaf, a widowed grandmother, said in her trademark glasses.

The more I looked at this sentence, the crasser it appeared to me.

Firstly, how many male presidents would be defined by their marital status? Worse is the comment about her trademark glasses- the accompanying photo shows that she is wearing a perfectly normal pair of wire-framed glasses. I can't see anything trademarkable about them- they just look like a pair of glasses that someone who needs to wear glasses might wear. I can't help wondering why the journalist wrote this sentence. It adds nothing to the picture of her views or beliefs. In an ideal world, a cigar-chomping, apoplectic editor would summon the journalist into an office and give them a dressing-down that would knock years of their life. Instead, the sentence gets syndicated around the world.

Categories: General

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