Words that describe the quality of air translate quickly to our level of concern. It is therefore surprising that local television stations are more likely to say “decreasing air quality” than “increasing pollution,” more likely to say “more haze” than “more pollutants” and, finally, when air is really bad, more likely to describe it as “unhealthy” instead of “life-shortening.”
Maybe these terms come from agencies and news directors that have long ago forgotten about the ability of these euphemisms to mislead or produce a somnolescent state. Maybe they are more palatable to viewers who may not want alarm about themselves, or more pleasing to legislators who seek growth despite the large health cost, shortened lives and more illness to those who live along the Wasatch Front.
Shame on those who subtly use words to minimize or sugarcoat something that has profound effect on Utah residents who work hard and must live in the pollutants. Shame on the Legislature for being complicit in these subtle word tricks that may do great harm to good people.
Call a spade a spade and do some good. People will listen to words that are accurate and inform.
Norman Anderson, Ivins