SENTENCE: The NPT is today more important than ever. Since its inception, this treaty has served as the cornerstone of global security and peace in the nuclear field, based on the mutually reinforcing pillars of non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
WHERE: Draft statement on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation.
CORRECTION: The NPT is today more important than ever. Since its inception, this treaty has served as the cornerstone of global security and peace in the nuclear field.
Vital to the Treaty’s integrity and viability is the delicate balance among the three pillars of the NPT: non-proliferation, disarmament and the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
CRITIQUE: The problem with this sentence is a mixed metaphor: a cornerstone rests on the ground, in the corner, so it can’t be balanced on three pillars.
Fixing this sentence was actually fiendishly difficult, and I’m not entirely happy with the results. Unfortunately, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is widely accepted as the cornerstone and as having three pillars.
Worse yet, it was about a paragraph down that disarmament and non-proliferation were described as balancing on the fulcrum of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. I was expecting them to start doing circus tricks by the end of the speech!