Thursday, February 08, 2007

“Snow Chaos”

The word chaos is being used far too liberally. It should be reserved for actual chaos. Numerous large explosions, planes falling out of the sky (more than one), masked men riding round the city on motorbikes letting rip with machine guns – those situations might qualify. Chaos, for me, implies a lack of control coupled with mass confusion and perhaps even fear. Not “some snow”. In early February.

I know I’m usually the first to complain about particularly bad mornings on the tube network, and I accept that there may have been some delays today, but it certainly wasn’t chaos from where I was standing. Actually I got a lift to work and we drove from Clapham Common to Regent Street almost completely traffic-free in just under 30 minutes. In the rush hour. Some snowflakes fell onto the windscreen. Lord save us.

Yes, I accept that the situation will have been worse for others, especially those living outside of the cities. Maybe you even got stranded at home. But that's not chaos. OK, unless you live in the fantasy world of The Daily Mail. If we're not careful the word will lose its impact when we need it most.

Image taken from a BBC report showing the (complete lack of) travel chaos in London.


mountainear said...

I think the press only have a small box of adjectives. Ergo pensioners are always 'plucky', toddlers 'tragic' and grannies when faced with a masked intruder 'have-a-go'.

The Eyechild said...

Surely the ace up any red top editor's sleeve is 'Evil', perhaps italicised, emboldened and capitalised thus:


gridrunner said...

True enough. Plus the standard bevel effect of course. And underlined, just in case you missed it.

Zeno Cosini said...

I was on the phone to one of our coagents in Canada today, moaning about the cold. She causally mentioned that it was -32 in Toronto earlier in the week.

I felt small. And warm...