The news about David Beckham moving to Los Angeles to play for the LA Galaxy team reminds me of something that I meant to post about some time ago, but never did.
Go and read the story now, then come back here.
You'll notice that the headline says that Beckham is to be "unveiled" by LA Galaxy. This is a verb which is used in respect to any footballer who is about to start playing for a new team. Why "unveiled" though? Mr Beckham and his footballing ilk do often make odd fashion choices, but I've never seen any of them wearing a veil.
Usually, you "unveil" something because it's been hidden for some time. The object to be disclosed is obfusctated by a large piece of fabric (ususally red silk, though blue velvet curtains with gold trim are acceptable). A ceremony is performed to build up a sense of tension and expectation and then... in a sweeping gesture... the object of desire is revealed to all those gathered; accompanied by gasps of surprise, astonished murmurings and blinding flashes from paparazzi cameras.
Yet, in football transfers, there is usually a prolonged stream of rumours preceding the transfer and the deal is done, and publicised, days before the player makes his first appearance at the new team's ground or board-room. So the press-call and announcement is never a real suprise - just a confirmation that the deal has been done and the player's chauffeur has managed to find the place without getting lost or killed.
Journalists should probably try to come up with some new words to replace "unveil". As I am kind and lovely, I will provide some good and bad examples for their guidance.
Good: show-off; make public; publicise; divulge; display; exhibit; parade; present.
Bad: unmask; uncover; reveal; unroll; unfurl; expose; flourish; demonstrate; unshroud.
I thank you.