Saturday, July 26, 2008

In the news...

The lead story on the local news the other night was about the town of Stratham frantically -- yes, they used the word "frantically" -- spraying the fairgrounds to get rid of mosquitoes before this weekend's Stratham Fair. Why? West Nile Virus! Bearing down like a freight train on New Hampshire! Get indoors!! For GOD'S SAKE GET INDOORS!!!!
By the way, when a human in New Hampshire actually contracts West Nile Virus, we'll let you know.
Meanwhile, video during the report showed workers setting up the carnival ride The Zipper.
Hmmm...rare, unlikely illness versus carnival ride?
Anyone notice how the hysteria level of a threat rises in direct proportion to how unlikely it is to happen?
We'll go to the fair, eat fried dough, ride the Zipper, then, when we're barrelling home in our SUV at 10 or 20 miles per hour above the speed limit text all our friends to tell them how happy we are that we didn't contract West Nile Virus.
Here are some phrases that need to be retired:
"Good Samaritan" -- Does anyone remember the Bible story? The guy from Samaria was the other guy's enemy. . That's what made it such a big deal that he helped the other guy out. But in news reporting, this is used ad nauseum to describe any stranger that helps out any other stranger. Give it a break. Can't we just say "a passerby pulled the lady from the burning car?" Isn't that just as effective?

"Gone missing" -- The English started this one, and at first it was kind of cute. Then EVERYONE in the U.S. started using it. Now it's just annoying. Can't we go back to saying

"Begging the question" -- When used correctly, this phrase refers to the logical fallacy of the circular argument. The conclusion is contained in one of the premises, therefor the premise doesn't prove the conclusion. The one we all learned in school is "God exists because the Bible says so, and we know the Bible is true because God wrote it."
Nowadays, people use it to simply mean that something prompts the question. Bad, wrong, annoying.

1 comment:

Reunion Committee said...

You are always right. Now everyone will know that.