Make us your home page

Let's Talk

Connect with

If it's not an oil 'spill,' what is it?




In the past several weeks, many readers have criticized headlines that refer to the Gulf "oil spill." reader Peter Duce wrote to us: "This isn't a leaking gas pump or even a damaged tanker,"complaining about our headlines.

Today columnist Carlton's addresses the issue:

"I admit I am picky about words.

Maybe it comes from growing up in a family of teachers, but I like them to mean what they say, down to the nuance. Sometimes when they don't, I become that lady in church who gives you a dirty look when you laugh out loud....

Which leads us to the dismal subject of oil, all that oil and precisely what to call what is happening in our gulf.

Isn't a "spill" what happens when the waiter sets down your plate and inadvertently jostles your water glass? Spilled milk is what you are not supposed to cry over. Or in this case, rage against..."

We'd like to hear from you:

What is the best label for what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico?
Other (Share your suggestion in the comments section)

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 7, 2010 10:19am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours