Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Okay, I don't want to fall victim to the Recency Illusion, but it certainly seems to me that use of the adjective (or present participle) "concerning" has risen pretty sharply of late.

It's a perfectly natural usage, but one that strikes me as uncommon enough to be weird, yet recently I've seen it in a lot of cop/legal things on the news, as in "It was concerning" that Hinckley "searched the Internet for photos of his female dentist" on ABC News just tonight.

My dictionary (MW Unabridged) says, by the way, that it's archaic (and the gerund is obsolete).

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At 8:17 PM, November 30, 2011 Anonymous Kathie had this to say...

Perhaps the revival of the archaism "concerning" is a product of media corporate lawyers who strive to cover their employers' derrières by advocating the use of less-judgmental words for what most folks are really thinking, like "troubling," "disturbing," etc.

At 10:48 AM, December 01, 2011 Anonymous Mark had this to say...

It sounds odd.

As an aside, my biggest problem with words like that is that they are judgemental. A reporter should not add editorial comments to a story. If it's a quote, that's fine, but I really don't care what the reporter feels about the story ("It was concerning ..." means "I was concerned ...") TV reporters/newsreaders are especially bad about it.

At 2:19 PM, December 01, 2011 Blogger The Ridger, FCD had this to say...

Well, in this case, they were quoting some DOJ official. I do agree with you, though.


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