Because adjectives may be used not only for the purpose of description but also to provide added emphasis. Another frequently-heard example occurs when people speaking of making 'a fresh start'.
Not sure about that. You can start something on many occasions. A 'fresh start' implies I failed at something and am going to try again. A 'fresh start' is not a tautology. Someone, who is bad mannered, wants to stop and starts to be good mannered, fails and then starts again. That's a 'fresh start'.The way a 'new initiative' is being used is seldom if ever to give emphasis.But it's an interesting point.
I suppose it is like a 'free gift.'
Perfect and so annoying. It always jars. Probably from the world of advertising and business: all the 'free gifts' they lavish on us.
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The editorial in the current issue of Kerry's Eye.