Words the Media Should Stop Using

#1 and #2 – Terrifying, Horrifying or Variants

EXAMPLE: “Senator Bumble’s Support for Bill #535 is Terrifying!”

No it isn’t.  You know what’s terrifying? Leatherface coming at you with a revving chainsaw and the car you’re in is out of gas.

If you don’t support that bill, then Senator Bumble’s support for it is disappointing, ill-advised or contrary to your beliefs, but one usually only feels terror when one is in a dangerous situation, one where there is a great likelihood of danger to your physical well-being.

Things that are terrifying: Mike Myers chasing you with a machete.  A dump truck barreling down on you and your foot is stuck in a pothole.  A Bengal tiger spotting you and licking his chops.

Times I Have Been Terrified in My Life: 1) I was getting out of a car on a rainy night when I noticed another car had veered off the road and was about to crash into the car I was getting out of. I had to make a split second decision to keep getting out of the car and try to make a run for it or get back in the car.  I got back in the car and as it turns out, that was the better move as the impact pushed the car quite a bit, right over the spot I would have been in…as you know, a person not inside a car to protect me.  That was terrifying but I am now here to entertain you 3.5 readers so it worked out.

Other Time I Was Terrified:  I was walking alone in a neighborhood at night and an enormous dog started following me.  He kept sniffing at me, nipping at me, put his paws on me (on my shoulders because that’s how big it was) and it was just huge.  I’m not sure the feeling amounted to terror but there was a large concern in my mind at the time that this mutt could have ripped out my larynx if it wanted then defiled my corpse and it was such a quiet country road that it would have been days before the road cleanup crew would have scooped me up with a spatula.  Luckily, the dog didn’t want to.

At any rate, I have felt terror and close to terror but bloviating politicians have yet to strike terror into me.

Things that are not terrifying: Senator Bumble’s support for a bill.

Here’s a handy tip.  When you read about Senator Bumble, did your butthole pucker? Did you break out into a cold sweat?  Did your heart beat rapidly? No?  OK, so then let’s stop using the word terrifying to describe things that don’t cause these things to happen.

#3 – Destroyed

EXAMPLE: Talk Show Host Talky McTalksalot Just Gave a Monologue That Destroyed Trump!

No.  To destroy is to eradicate.  Make it no longer there. Maybe Talky’s monologue gave a strong argument against Trump’s policies.  Maybe you agree with Talky and are happy to see someone is vocalizing a point you agree with.  Maybe Talky has shown where Trump has made a mistake or has engaged in some action you find disagreeable, but Trump was not destroyed.  Trump is still here.  He is still getting up every day, eating his morning Big Mac, then tweeting up a storm.

There are some other words the media uses that drive me crazy but that’s all I can think of for now.

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