Friday, December 23, 2011

Heroes And Villains

Mutter, mutter, splutter, splutter.

Well it may be the season of goodwill but that isn't stopping me needing to vent - but I'll try to make it short.

One of my many pet peeves is the overuse of the word 'hero' and once it was used to describe any player who scored a last minute goal, I felt it had been taken as far from its noble beginnings as it possibly could.

I won't go into other examples of its current trivialised use as there are many and it's so sad. Now before you have a pop at me, I know my definition of a hero is not what you may find in a dictionary but this is MY rant so there. For me, a hero is someone who is prepared to or actually does risk his or her life for others. There. That is all. A hero.

The reason for this outburst this morning is down to an article in my hometown newspaper, the Yorkshire Evening Post. The headline states : "Community Offenders To Clear Leeds Town Of Snow." Ok so far.

The first line of the article then says........Convicted offenders are to turn community Christmas heroes – and help clear a Leeds town of snow.


Ok so we have a bunch of (probably young) convicted criminals who got a few hours of community service as part of their sentences. Probably all of their sentences if our pathetic justice system was involved. With snow possibly on the horizon, someone has had the bright idea to have them serve some of their hours of community work by clearing the snow from around Leeds. Fine by me. I'd have them in t-shirts, shorts and flip flops and chain them up together while they do it but that's just me.

But come Christmas HEROES ?!

I give up. It's a disgrace to use the same word to describe some thug who may have mugged a granny for her pension money as someone who may have rushed into a burning building to carry out an unconscious resident with no thought for their own safety.

I understand that our language is constantly changing and evolving and that the meaning of individual words can change over the years. Certain words can now be deemed offensive when decades ago they weren't. There is now a long list of words and expressions that we have to avoid using or the racist or PC police will be on to us, closely followed by the bandwagon brigade who love to jump on board when such words are uttered in public.

That's a different peeve of mine !

So that was it. A mini rant by my standards.....and by keeping it short, I hope you will applaud my heroic effort.


Daphne said...

I know that the language evolves, like you say - but I think the problem with this use of the word "heroes" is that it's a sloppy, careless, lazy use of the word which devalues its proper meaning. If these lads were to risk their lives to rescue someone stuck on the ice on a frozen pond - - now THAT's heroic. But clearing a bit of snow when they're not even volunteering but are MADE to do it? Ohhhh for goodness' sake!

Ruth said...

I agree with you and Daphne. This is total misuse of the word heroes. It's the same with the word 'devastated'. As far as I'm concerned if someone or somewhere is devastated, they/it are destroyed, ruined, totally laid to waste. Not this...
or this...
or this...

rhymeswithplague said...

Bartender, laurel wreaths for everybody!

rhymeswithplague said...

...and a very merry Christmas to you there in sunny Florida amongst the palm trees and alligators.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Oh, I'm totally with you on this one. It's a travesty to use the word 'hero' in this context - or should I say 'these contexts'.

Heroes of football (or any other sport) should always be in parenthesis. Always. Then I'll accept it.

Heroes of community service? Pull the other one, it's got bells on. They wouldn't even BE there if they could possibly wangle their way out of it. GRR.

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