I'm grumbling about sloppy language, again.
As writers we should be precise. We hone our sentences until each word says exactly what we need to to say, don't we? Or course we do.
But let's unpick this.
I'll play a game with you. Let's have a continuum, from a bit of a problem to disaster, looking something like this:
Bit of a problem<----------------------------------------------------->Disaster
Now, you've been out, having a lovely time, maybe a couple of glasses of wine, and you're looking forward to a cup of tea before crawling into bed - only to find that the washing machine has leaked, the kitchen is under water, and the cat has knocked one of your most precious books onto the floor and it is ruined. Where would you place this on the continuum, and what word might you use?
Again, you leave your bag on the bus. Not only does it contain your purse, house keys and phone, it also has your laptop containing the final draft of your manuscript. It is the best novel you have ever written and you are on your way to the editor where you expected champagne. Well, maybe not champagne, but some serious backslapping and general cheer. Where would that lie, on my continuum, and what word would you use?
Your son, aged six, is diagnosed with a serious and possibly terminal illness. You face months, and possibly years, ferrying him backwards and forwards to hospitals, and countless nights holding his hand while he pretends he's not in pain or frightened. Where does that sit?
The earthquake in Nepal ...
I accept that 'disaster' is an individual experience. But - if I were to believe Facebook and Twitter - lives are at stake if someone misses a morning coffee or burns the cakes.
I would argue that, as writers, we owe it to ourselves and to our readers to choose our words meticulously. Even on Twitter. Words are precious - if we devalue them we devalue the experiences that underpin them.
You can see if I practise what I preach on my website: http://www.jocarroll.co.uk