Friday, April 23, 2010

Save your Big Bang Words for a Big Bang

The other day I heard a news interview where a man said the ash cloud was a tragedy because he might have to cancel his vacation to Europe. The word tragedy struck me a too dramatic for the situation. Canceling a vacation would certainly be a disappointment but not a tragedy.

When you call canceling your vacation a tragedy, what do you call a true tragedy such as a plane crash or car accident?

Be sure to think though where you are going with your story when choosing your "ultimate" words. For example, if your story is leading from

falling down, resulting in...

  • --breaking a fingernail (remedy... go to the manicurist), you might describe it as an annoyance.

whereas falling down, resulting in ...


  • --spraining your wrist (remedy... visit the ER for an x-ray and Ace bandage), you might describe as an unfortunate accident.
whereas falling down, resulting in...

  • --breaking arm (remedy... admitted to the hospital for surgery), you might described as an unfortunate accident.

whereas falling down, resulting in

  • --multiple breaks, bruises, cuts, and brain damage (remedy... surgery and ICU), you might describe as a tragedy.

Obviously, the word you choose to describe each example would be different. They are certainly not all tragedies.

Are you seeing the point here.? It's important when writing to save the Big Bang words like "tragedy" for the Big Bang events.

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