Friday, September 14, 2007

Change That Wording Forever

Several editors at the ACES discussion board have been listing their pet peeves.

Not on the list is my personal teeth-gnashing usage: "x will change this town/this game/the family/ their lives FOREVER." The usage shows up on TV all the time; less so in print. But it is not only trite, it's ridiculous--rarely can someone say at any given day that an event has changed something forever.

Take Sept.11. Yes, the attacks knocked down the buildings, permanently. The skyline changed. But forever? No, tall buildings will go up in their place someday.

Are the lives of all Americans, all New Yorkers, changed forever, as many were saying or writing back in 2001? No. Not at all.

Yes, a death changes the lives of the victim's family, not to mention the victim.

But after that, whatever led to the death may affect someone else's behavior; there may be a new stop sign put up, let's say, or some sort of traffic pattern may be altered.

But changed the town forever? No, no, very unlikely.

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