Monday, March 9, 2009

road map – noun

A diagram of roadways used by travelers to find circuitous routes to their destinations—including scenic detours, rest stops, eateries, and tourist attractions—or to change their itineraries mid-trip.

USAGE: President Bush unfolded a road map for peace in the Middle East.
The idea of a "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace was not entirely an invention of President George W. Bush, but was in fact his response to a request by Jordan's King Abdullah in a White House conversation. After their official talk, according to another person in the room, King Abdullah said, "What we need is a road map." Bush then turned to Assistant Secretary of State for the Near Bast William Burns and said, "He wants a road map. Can we give him a road map?"


COMMENT: If peace were the chief goal of peace negotiations, then a treasure map would be a more apt metaphor: a set of directions toward a singular destination, promising a lost, difficult to acquire, and immensely valuable reward. Or, to bring the proper terminology up to date, "GPS directions for peace" might suffice.

Road maps are not only designed for countless users with myriad possible destinations (read: agendas) in mind, but they're also notoriously difficult to interpret once you decide where you want to go. In addition, they're impossible to use as you're driving, and they stubbornly resist folding for storage and repeated use.

On the whole, then, kudos to Bush for another brilliant coinage.

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