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Words

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Michael K. Wilson of Jacksonville writes:

“A major crusade is in order to combat the current abominable misuse of the word ‘issue’ to describe what should properly be called a problem instead. It now seems politically correct to say that Lindsey Lohan (whoever she is) has ‘issues’ when she checks into drug or alcohol rehab, rather than calling it what it is. Where I come from, an issue is a debatable proposition, not a euphemism for a personal, psychological or medical problem.”

In this case, abominable may be too mild a word. The substitution of issue where problem belongs makes me fighting mad, or at least complaining mad. And if I run into Lindsey Lohan, whoever she is, I’ll tell her so.

I’m encouraging Mr. Wilson, a lawyer, to get one of those injunction things or a declaratory judgment or whatever it takes to put a stop to the offensive usage.

And they called bream “breem”:

Wayne Jordan watched local television accounts of three people drowning. “The talking heads of two Little Rock TV stations said that one of the victims was tangled in ‘trout lines,’ instead of ‘trot lines,’ ” he writes. “Apparently, none of the reporters or editors has been fishing on Lake Ouachita.” And if they have, they probably didn’t pronounce the name right.

A trot line is a device for catching multiple fish, a line stretched across a body of water, with hooks attached at intervals.

The best name I’ve found in the basketball tournaments belongs to a member of the Ole Miss women’s team: “Mississippi guard Ashley Awkward goes up for a shot during a regional semifinal game Sunday …” If she made it, I suppose the coach exclaimed “That’s Awkward!” And when his team needed a basket in the final moments to win the game, he announced “This is an Awkward situation.” There are a lot of possibilities here, and I’m sure Ashley has heard them all.

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