web analytics

Misuse of the Word gentleman

Media reporters, particularly of the broadcast stripe, often misuse the word gentleman, in referring to criminals or terrorists. A man who is EVIDENTLY the perpetrator of a crime, as is the case of the brothers who committed the Boston Marathon bombings and related murders––whether the crime has already been proven at trial or not––ought not to be named in speech or writing by a designation necessarily comporting a measure of politeness, elevation, or deference toward the referent. The stylistically appropriate word in such instances is man, not gentleman.


Leave a Comment

156 feed subscribers
Readers with non-commercial queries and a personal e-mail address can click here:

Michael Shapiro: Sound and Meaning in Shakespeare's Sonnets
ePub $2.49 | Mobi $2.49

Michael Shapiro: The Speaking Self: Language Lore and English Usage

For free email notification of new blog posts, please enter your address in the field below, and then click Subscribe.

Michael Shapiro's Upcoming Appearances