I recently indulged in a little rant about unimaginative reporters who seem to think “hunkering down” is the only way to prepare for a hurricane. Today I came across an article that pricked another of my pet linguistic peeves — “full-throated.”
I don’t remember exactly when a reporter or news anchor first used the adjective “full-throated” to describe an enthusiastic, all-out, and loud verbal endorsement of something, but it seems to me the usage is only a few years old. The first few times I heard it, it sounded fresh and original. A new way to emphasize how hearty and enthusiastic something was. “Full-throated” was something verbal and loud — a shout, a yell, a bellow, a roar. It puts me in mind of a pack of hounds baying in hot pursuit of a fleeing fox.
Unfortunately, like “hunkering down” for hurricanes, “full-throated” seems to have become the only way some reporters know to describe remarks that are loud, enthusiastic, hearty, heartfelt, intense, earnest, sincere, unqualified, etc. Worse, the article I saw shows that now someone thinks “full-throated” can describe something nonverbal:
But the draft of the Democratic Party platform stopped short of lending a full-throated endorsement of the bill …
Stay tuned. With the political campaigns ramping up and only two months until the election, you can bet everything the pols say and do will be “full-throated.”