I’ve already covered a number of aspects of the harmful use of language in reporting collisions. But some articles are particularly bad, and demonstrate particular points.
Language is a funny old thing: it can be beautiful yet brutal; trivial yet pivotal. At the very least, it’s always a product of the author’s thoughts: a symptom of an attitude; a barometer of a mindset. But—more than that—whether subtle or strident, malign or mendacious, it remains our main tool of influence. What you say, what you write, is important.
But sometimes, it’s a car crash.
Let’s take a look at it, pull it apart, see if it needs fixing, and then put it back together.