As the government's resident philosopher-prince, Attorney-General George Brandis is fond of words, particularly words from outside the English language. Being a lawyer, he likes to draw upon one of the techniques the legal profession uses to pretend it isn't just another self-interested industry, by quoting Latinisms and terms usually only heard in the rarefied confines of the courtroom, like "gravamen". And if words can be pronounced a la francaise, so much the better, even if the words have long since passed into English usage.
Brandis goes Left Bank in his search for terror hype
Using words like "existential" to describe terrorism is part of a lengthy, and wholly absurd, tradition of hyping it.