Cliche of the Week 116 – Zero Tolerance

November 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm 1 comment

A sly infection is creating word carnage of the reportage kind despite a firm zero tolerance policy to journalistic clichés.

Zero tolerance, originally used to tell public officials that their work should be error free, is now used as a chest-beating crime fighting phrase.

However, zero tolerance is rarely an absolute ruling. Additionally, critics say that such policies give no leeway for extenuating circumstances such as when someone save’s another’s life by breaking the speed limit on the way to hospital.

“Conservative candidate Tony Roberts’ plan says his aims include cutting crime and cracking down on anti-social behaviour and implementing a zero tolerance approach to knife, drug and alcohol-related crime.” (Nottingham Evening Post, October 27)

“Zero-tolerance policies require punishment for violating school rules regardless of extenuating circumstances.”(The Atlanta Journal Constitution, October 27)

“It seems that with legal alcohol there is zero tolerance from authorities but when it comes to illegal drugs, the approach is all blind eyes and harm minimisation.” (Daily Telegraph, October 24)

“Each care home will be assigned an officer who will be aware of the 10 point dignity challenge that promotes an awareness supporting zero tolerance for all forms of abuse in care services.”(Huddersfield Examiner, Yorkshire, October 23)

Cliché of the Week appears in The Australian newspaper Mondays. Chris Pash’s book, The Last Whale , a true story set in the 1970s about Australia’s last whaling station and the activists who fought to close it, was published by Fremantle Press in 2008.

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Entry filed under: Cliche of The Week. Tags: , , .

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