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Has anyone noticed how the BBC (perhaps other news outlets too) are using the word "graphic" more and more in the third adjectival meaning on this page: "grotesque or otherwise repulsively gory" and using it in reference to pictures.

A couple of weeks ago in a news item from the Middle East on BBC1 the commentary included "not all of the images can be shown as they are too graphic". I was prompted to write this now having just heard something very similar on the ten o'clock news. It seems to be in more-or-less daily use. Difficult to see how a photographic image can be any more or less "graphic" than any other.

Historically the word has been applied to written or spoken description in meaning two: "vivid, descriptive" a thousand (or fewer) well chosen words being worth a picture.

It seems to me that a rider to number three might be useful to point it out as questionable.

Phil Last 2008-06-01 22.39