Re: Linguistic Overreaching

Subject: Re: Linguistic Overreaching
From: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
To: "West, Michael" <Michael -dot- West -at- gsjbw -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Apr 2006 06:42:48 -0400

West, Michael wrote:

Al Geist wrote:

If you want to make a blanket accusation against a profession, blame the news media, not the news messenger.


I can't tell who you think you're addressing, but you tacked this on to
a quote from my post so I need to abjure.

I've made no "accusation" against any profession. I hope that's clear.
A few of my personal heroes are or were professional journalists.
Although technical writing is my profession, I hold journalism, at its
infrequent best, in higher esteem.

The discussion you weighed in on was a fairly trivial one about whether
"epicenter" is or is not suitable for metaphorical usage. I don't
understand how that got transmuted into a "blanket accusation" about

It's been so long ago, but I believe my comments were in response to your comments about "journalists" using the wrong metaphor. You were upset about the use of the term epicenter when you believed center was the proper word. I was only mentioning that a news story goes through a lot of steps between the original copy being generated by the reporter (journalist) and being read by the consumer. In between, there are layers of editors, copy editors, headline writers, etc. What I was clarifying was the problem with word usage rests with the media and not the individual, who may have used "center" only to have it change to "epicenter" by a headline writer in order to create more excitement and thus sell more newspapers.

However, with that said, I believe someone in the thread discovered that epicenter was an acceptable replacement for center in the context of the metaphor.

As for the discussion being transmuted into a "blanket accusation," I think it was based on the original message which sounded like a blanket accusation of the journalism profession.


Al Geist
Technical Writing, Online Help, Marketing Collateral, Web Design, Award Winning Videos, Professional Photography
Voice/Msg: 802-658-3140
E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com <mailto:al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
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See also:
URL: <> (fine art prints for home or office and note cards for all occasions)

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RE: Linguistic Overreaching: From: West, Michael

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