Friday 23 February 2018

Flippant words

Madam – I must take issue with some of the language used by Maeve Sheehan in her article, "Elaine and the fatal attraction of sexual fetish" (Sunday Independent, September 22, 2013). The analysis piece about the discovery of Elaine O'Hara's remains in the Dublin Mountains was disturbing to me as an average reader.

The opening paragraphs were especially distasteful in their tone: "A fibia here, a tibia there", the opening lines read. In my view, this language is flippant, and did not reflect the tone one would use when discussing the remains of a woman who met such a tragic end. I appreciate that there is little a writer can do when describing a scene – but this type of writing is grossly inappropriate, and simply unnecessary in an 'analysis' article.

Not only was this description of Ms O'Hara's remains undignified, but the writer then explained how "a body had been shoved into the undergrowth and left there to rot, gnawed on by wild animals and the bones dragged hither and thither". What need is there to describe the "gnawing" of Elaine O'Hara's body? Is this analysis?

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