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Cheapening the Language

Jan 2, 2005, 1:23 AM EDT

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In the title of a blog entry earlier this week, I referred to “devastation” over the result of the Redskins game. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 I pledged to refrain from hyperbole when it comes to describing the events that happen on the football field. Among other things, doing that cheapens the language. If blowing a fourth-quarter lead, for example, is a “catastrophe”, what words are left to describe the results of terrorists driving airliners into the sides of heavily occupied buildings?

Soon after I used the word “devastation” when writing about how some were reacting to the loss to Dallas, news of how truly devastating the tsunami that struck much of southern Asia started to come in. This will serve as another reminder to me to keep sports in its proper perspective. I hope that other writers follow the same guidelines. Archives

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