Thursday, 1 May 2008

Dealing with things 'manfully'?

Story from the BBC about a heroin addict who died after jerking the steering wheel out of his wife's hands when she wouldn't drive him to buy drugs.

The BBC reports:

The coroner said Mr Grindley was a young man who had grappled "manfully" with heroin addiction and his death was a tragic loss.
What I would like to know from the coroner is how exactly one grapples "manfully" with an addiction? Does it mean bravely or courageously? If so, perhaps one of those words or one of their synoyms would be more appropriate than assuming that to be strong and brave is to do things like a man.

Also interesting to note that the reporter feels it necessary to mention Mr Grindley's private school education and his introduction to drugs by a former girlfriend, all in the same sentence. Given that two clauses in a sentence are usually linked in some way, what is the connection here? Are we supposed to infer that he had a private education but his aspirations for happy, well-behaved middle class life were ruined by his rebellious former girlfriend? Who knows.

Dear me, I seem to be having a very critical afternoon. Think I'm just still angry after reading about the recent Johnny Vegas incident where he may or may not have taken advantage of a young woman onstage. Nice one.