In the American media––particularly the audio and video––there has been a marked overuse of certain words, namely the adjectives denoting something emotionally negative such as dire, heart-breaking, devastating, etc. This is amply illustrated by the reporting in the last few days on the torndaos in the south that have wreaked such horrendous damage.

What the media correspondents fail to realize is that by ceaselessly resorting to the same adjectives they are significantly weakening the emotional power of these words. These news sources would be better served if their producers would take the time and the effort to search for alternative lexical means in describing the effects that the terrible disasters have on the victims and on the public at large.