IT must be nice to be tormented by such humdrum things.
On Monday, while looking out at the snowbound Colne Valley, I heard a radio reporter give a two-minute update of the situation around the county.
While running through the list of icy roads, closed airports and shuttered schools, the hack used the word ‘nightmare’ three times. Someone needs to buy him the Big Book of Journalistic Clichés so he can at least find some different terms to over-inflate a story.
Apparently it was a ‘nightmare’ for parents when hundreds of schools decided not to open their doors on Monday.
An inconvenience, certainly. A pain in the neck, without a doubt. But a nightmare?
Who has bad dreams about having to do a little extra childcare? Only someone with a very limited imagination, if that’s the sum of the fears which their sleeping mind can conjure.
You may think I’m being pernickety, and I suppose I am. But I’m tired of the constant elevation of passing inconvenience to life-sapping tragedy.
I’m sick of so many media outlets telling us that every road accident brings, not inconvenience, not even misery, but ‘chaos’.
Sitting in a queue of traffic can be very annoying, but that’s not the same as mayhem or pandemonium.
‘Chaos’ is things on fire and people running around screaming.
In many ways a traffic jam is the opposite of chaos. It’s normally an orderly affair, where everyone knows exactly what they want to do, they just don’t know when they’re going to be able to do it.
The exaggeration of minor inconvenience into major crisis only serves to show how lucky we are to live in a peaceful, orderly country.
After all, I don’t imagine anyone in Baghdad complains about chaotic traffic congestion or moans about the nightmare of a one-day school closure.