...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Monday, December 27, 2004

Words fail us. We fail words.

devastate -- from the Latin "vastus" - waste -- to lay waste -- one of the words that TV news people grossly overuse, depleting their meaning and impact.

If there are devastating car crashes, devastating diseases, and devastating fires, what word is left to describe a 9.2 earthquake and tsunami that lay waste to the shores of at least eleven countries and kill thousands?


Anonymous said...

There's a business for someone: A thesuarus for news writers and anchors. Sadly, there's a consultant behind every talking head amping up the fear factor of every piece of promotional prose that hits the 6 o'clock news.

geoff said...

There is a book that is supposed to be used- it is called the AP style book. Obviously it is not used much any longer.