What is this obsession that politicians and commentators have with “sending out messages” and “giving the wrong signals”? Do they not speak the same language? (Well, in a sense, no – but it is all broadly classed as english.) I mean, I’m sitting right here in the car listening to you on the radio – why not tell me instead of sending a signal?
The most common version of this is doing “one thing” whilst sending out the “wrong signal” indicating precisely the opposite. Who are these people sitting around receiving signals and wilfully misinterpreting them? What medium do they travel through? I never receive them, but maybe that’s because I am borderline autistic (apparently).
Best to give an example: “downgrading of cannabis from Class B to C could send the wrong signal” UN condemns UK cannabis laws in The Observer. Is cannabis legal now? No, that would be declassification. Is it less dangerous than heroin? Yes. See Class B and Class A drugs. Looks like another signal gone over my head.