The headline of this BBC news story reads, “Sri Lanka leader hails ‘victory'” The same headline, along with the first few lines of this story, also appears as top story on the main BBC news page today.
What’s with the scare quotes round “victory”? I can go with the quotes round “liberated” a few lines later. That’s a matter of opinion. But it is a fact, not an opinion, that the Sri Lankan government has won a victory over the Tamil Tigers. The BBC itself writes that the Tigers are “finished as a conventional military force”. The Tigers’ leader is dead. They hold no territory. They have surrendered.
This is starting to sound like the Dead Parrot sketch. But do you get my point here, Beebfolk? Even if the Tigers were to stage a comeback, this, today, is still a victory. Or are you trying to convey that, “In war, whichever side may call itself the victor, there are no winners, but all are losers,” as Neville Chamberlain put it in 1938?