My Week as a ScoldPosted: March 25, 2013
Sometimes writing this blog I feel like a bit of a scold: constantly reminding the Ether of the threat of landmines and their impact upon the lives of individuals. I also get deeply offended when I see people casually toss of the words “minefield” or “landmine” for dramatic effect. Two weeks ago I saw a story from Forbes entitled, “Traversing Personal Brand Management While Avoiding Company Brand Landmines” and thought company brand landmines must surely be the least dangerous form of landmines and by using the word “landmines” in this context the author really cheapened the lives of people killed or injured by real landmines. But I held my tongue. Over the following weekend, I resolved not to. I decided that every story I came across during the week of March 17 to 22 that used the words “minefield” or “landmine(s)” would get the following response:
Every day, a dozen people are killed or injured by landmines around the world. Your casual use of the word “minefield / landmine(s)” is disrespectful of their fate. If you want to learn more about the impact of real landmines, please visit www.the-monitor.org or www.LandminesinAfrica.org.
Michael P. Moore
And after posting, I would track the responses and provide additional details to anyone who sought them and avoid internet firestorms and trolls. I commented or emailed the authors of the following articles, retrieved by Google news searches. Any responses I received are in italics:
No disrespect intended. I really only meant to use the term in the second sense listed here [from www.Merriam-Webster.com: Minefield, Definition 2: something resembling a minefield especially in having many dangers or requiring extreme caution].
I apologize for sounding cavalier. I only meant that supervisors are proceeding into “something resembling a minefield especially in having many dangers or requiring extreme caution.”
Where Obama’s visiting in Israel, where he isn’t, and why: Why is the president spending hours at the Israel Museum but not going near the Western Wall? What’s he doing in Bethlehem? A primer on a tour through a diplomatic minefield
Land Mine Attachement: OPT13 (the mis-spelling is in the original; I was tempted, but did not mention it)
I sincerely apologize to amyone who found the title offensive in any way. That was not my intent.
In the event, not much changed. Two authors (out of 21) will hopefully think twice before using terms like “landmine” and “minefield” in their writing, so I’ll call those wins, but the vast majority of comments went either unanswered or were not even posted by the moderator. I did register new accounts with BDLive, the Huffington Post, the Yorkshire Post, Sunshine Coast Daily and Forbes. I still feel like a scold, but I will embrace that role in the future.
Michael P. Moore
March 25, 2013