And, as in this case, stupid.
Marine experts and and animal rights advocate in Australia want the public and media to refrain from using the word “attack” when sharks, meaning no harm, bump into a human swimmer and inadvertently take his or her arm, leg or head off. They suggest that violent, even fatal human meetings with the predatory fish be described with more neutral words such as “interactions.” “negative encounters,” or “incidents” the Sydney Morning Herald recently reported.
All of these, as is usually the case with euphemisms and “cover words,” convey less than accurate information. When an animal intentionally inflicts harm, it’s an attack. It might be an attack based on misidentification—“Hey! That doesn’t taste like a seal!”—but it’s still an attack.
Oh, no, says University of Sydney language researcher Christopher Pepin-Neff: “Shark attack’ is a lie.” He argues that a majority of what people call “attacks” are merely nips and minor injuries from smaller sharks. Apparently prior to the 1930s such episodes were once called “shark accidents.”
“Shark accident” is intentionally vague. Would poor Chrissie, above, call what the shark did to her an “accident”? And I know they use the language a little differently in Down Under, but since when does whether an animal bite qualifies as an attack depend on the size of the creature? If a rapid squirrel “nips” me, I have to call it a “squirrel accident”?
This is like the “Wuhan virus” censorship. Because some idiots react to the truth by being irrational, we have to obscure reality according to the woke, misguided, and addled enemies of free expression.
What happened to poor Chrissy was an attack, and the attacker was a shark.