Semantics

New Mexico fire grows, forces evacuation
Yes, of a ghost town:
 The evacuation of Mogollon, a privately owned ghost town, was ordered Saturday due to extreme wind.

There is no clarification in the article that there were x-number of real, live residents in this town.  In my mind, a ghost town is one that is wholly deserted, inhabited only by “ghosts.”  If you mean a once-booming, now with a dwindled population, town, then the phrase is metaphorical.

But I don’t sense that the writer understands that.

Unless, of course, the writer truly feared for the safety of the spirits wandering the streets.

*******

Another one in a different article talked about the potential closure of many USPS centers, ones that processed mail – sorting it and designating it for the right zip code.

It called them “mail-procession centers.”

No word yet on what sort of music they play as the mail formally makes its way through the facility.

*******

Any of you use Wordly Wise books?  There’s that one section with 4 sentences and the student has to pick out the one where the word is used incorrectly.  They should use those texts in journalism school, don’t you think?

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2 thoughts on “Semantics

  1. Remember Downton Abbey? My 12 yr old was wondering how it could be considered an “instant classic”. Semantics or Oxymoron…or maybe both.

    In one of the vocab books we used years ago we came across these two:
    Liberal – Open Minded
    Conservative – Closed Minded

    We had discussed a lot more than vocab that day!

  2. Nobody proofreads anymore. If it passes Microsoft's “spell check” and “grammar check” then it's all good. There was a comic strip in today's paper that misused “peddle” in place of “pedal.”

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