Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Word choice?

That ubiquitous comment by writing instructors (and I use it a lot): wc? No, we don't mean water closet, though if you used that term I might put a wc? next to it. We mean, is this really the word you want to use, of all the words available to you? Does this really express what you want to say here?

So, ask Reuters: are you sure you want to use the word "seduce" here:
"The deputy press secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security was put on leave and his security clearance suspended on Wednesday after being arrested on charges of using the Internet to try to seduce a 14-year-old girl, an official said."

James Bond seduces. Ben & Jerry's seduces. A middle-aged man seeking sex with a 14-year-old does not seduce. In the words of the law, he obscenely propositions.

2 comments:

Nels said...

Yeah, I picture the guy in a smoking jacket and a cigar going, "Would you like a frothy Dr. Pepper with your crunchy Doritos?" That's seducation (and scary in its own way). This is different.

susansinclair said...

Ummmmm...is seducation an allusion to pedagogy's history?