Obvious to whom?

I’ve noticed lately that the word obviously is used a lot. Someone will be talking about something and they’ll insert ‘obviously’ before they describe it, as if it’s so painfully obvious that they shouldn’t really have to mention it at all, but, you know, there might be one or two people out there who have lived simple sheltered lives and don’t actually know it.

Here’s an example from a hilarious news item. A BBC3 researcher sent the Bob Marley Foundation an email requesting an interview with Mr Marley, not realising he’d been dead for 24 years. They wrote:

…The Story of No Woman No Cry” would obviously only work with some participation from Bob Marley himself.

Popbitch put it in their weekly email and soon it was all around the interweb and in the papers. The BBC issued an apology, saying:

We are obviously very embarrassed that we didn’t realise that the letter to the Marley Foundation did not acknowledge that Mr Marley is no longer with us.

It seems to me that if they’d stopped considering all that stuff as being obvious and had instead questioned it and looked a little closer, then perhaps this kerfuffle would have not happened.

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