Wednesday, June 23, 2021

A Euphemism We Do Not Need In Lotusland.


A lot of gang members have been shooting at each other and, sometimes, other citizens in the Lower Mainland.

This is a vile and deadly business and the local journalist who has done the best job of covering it for a long time now is Kim Bolan, both in her bylined pieces in the Vancouver Sun and on social media.

Last weekend it was Ms. Bolan that first raised the matter of reports of shots fired between two vehicles in Surrey on the Twittmachine:

Ms. Bolan also followed up with specifics as they became known almost in real time, as only she can.

However, one of her readers took issue with her use of the euphemism 'gunplay' and provided a cogent explanation as to why.

To her credit Ms. Bolan answered with a 'fair enough',  and I have not seen her use the term since.


In addition to her straight-up journalistic chops, one thing that has long impressed me about Ms. Bolan's method is the fact that she is always willing to listen to and engage positively with her readers when they are both civil and on topic.

And, amazingly, despite the subject matter, the comment threads under Ms. Bolan's pieces, both in the Sun itself and in her blog are not full of garbage. In point of fact, quite often those threads have items of interest made and sometimes even new and relevant information imparted by her readers.

Which just goes to show that the scores of moderators that proMedia sites employ to patrol the other 99.99% of comment threads for profanity, defamation and overt bullying will never be able to keep all of those threads from diving off the deep end into the cesspool given that, unlike, Ms. Bolan they are not paying attention for either content or context.

Put another way, when writers/posters pay attention to what their readers have to say their readers will pay attention as well.


And I'm not talking about true trolls here. They never pay attention or listen to reason and thus, in my opinion, should never be engaged given that their only motivations are to disrupt rational discourse of any and all kinds.



Lew said...

Interesting. The dictionary and common historical usage is on Kim Bolan’s side.


“the exchange of gunshots, usually with intent to wound or kill, or

an exchange of gunshots, as between gunmen and police.”


“the shooting of small arms with intent to scare or kill.”

But rather than waste time arguing about it for no productive reason, she just acknowledges the opinion and moves on.

The mark of a pro.

RossK said...

Fair enough Lew.

Here's one of my (least) favourite euphemisms, defined:

Collateral damage is accidental injury to non-military people or damage to non-military buildings which occurs during a military operation.

"To minimize collateral damage, maximum precision in bombing was required."