01 October 2007

I would have chosen a different verb

AOL has a story today from the New York Times about airline safety with the very unfortunate link name of Airline crash numbers plunge sharply. I mean, what kind of sickos are they over at AOL?

The official headline, by the way, was "Air fatalities drop sharply over decade*" which is still not what I have would have chosen (Hey! AOL! How about "Airline safety up since 1996"? Or "Air fatalities decreased over decade"? You know, something less...evocative? We, the nervous fliers of America, never, ever want to see words like "plunge" or "drop sharply" in an article about anything to do with planes.

And I'll bet that had any nervous fliers known that the article would contain this cheery little phrasing, "Barring a crash before midnight Sunday, the drop in the accident rate is about 65 percent, to one fatal accident in about 4.5 million departures, from one in nearly 2 million in 1997" they would have immediately rescheduled any plans they had to fly on Sunday because that just sounds like a dare. Sort of tugging on Fate's sleeve. Never draw the attention of the travel gods to thine own puny self.

On the plus side, it really is very good news.

*The headline on the NYT website, by the way, is "Fatal Airplane Crashes Drop 65%"

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