One of the more recent innovations in “print” media is the ability for readers to leave comments on a story at a newspaper’s website. This has really changed the way we “read the paper.” Not only do we get the writer’s carefully researched and thought out perspective, but we also get the impulsive, knee jerk reactions of any reader who knows how to operate a keyboard.
I often read the Deseret News online, a Salt Lake City newspaper which is owned by my church. Many Mormons give the paper extra status/clout because of it’s church affiliation, so the paper has a pronouncedly slanted readership.
So lately I have noticed that these people who comment on stories on the Deseret News’ website all use the same adjectives OVER and OVER. In fact, it seems like Mormon people seem to recycle these adjectives as the only ones that properly reflect their DEEP and ABIDING feeling.
“I’m appalled,” stated one reader, “at Governor Hunstman’s endorsement of McCain. He is clearly out of touch.”
“I’m appalled” is my #1 hated phrase. I think people don’t realize how silly it sounds to be so violently opposed to pretty much everything, especially trivial things like a governor’s endorsement, or the blurred printing of an expiration date on a dairy product.
No: I’m appalled at the genocide in Darfur. I’m appalled at the acceptance of Paris Hilton as a member of the human race… everything else can have a lesser gradation of negative emotion.
These dear readers are often and easily “shocked” as well. Anything shocks them. The 300th cloned sheep comes out and they are “shocked.”
Of course, the grand poo bah of all comments come together when someone is both “shocked and appalled” about a certain subject. When this comment is unleashed, for this reader the very foundations of heaven and hell are shaking at the very thought of such a moment in our recorded journalistic history. This person’s head is simply about to explode at the overwhelming feeling they are having toward the story. They are just overcome with a barrage of negative emotion.
So hey everybody… tone down the rhetoric out there a bit, and use words that more accurately reflect your true feelings toward something. Maybe if we all got a little less “appalled” at each other every once in a while, the world might be a better place.