Words are important. Using the right word, conveying the exact meaning intended matters. As Mark Twain once said, “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between “fire” and “firefly.”
With that in mind, consider that Wednesday and Thursday we are to have what are called “Democratic Primary Debates.” But they will not be “debates” as that word is generally understood. They will be a happening –a something– and they may be important, but “debates?” No. Call them “Candidates Joint TV Appearances,” “Candidates Joint Press Conferences,” “Discussions Among a Gathering of Candidates,” or just a television show. But to call them “debates” is sloppy use of language at best.
I, and some others, have been saying this about so-called “Presidential Debates” for many years, unfortunately to no avail. The cable channels and almost everybody else insist on calling such events what they are not.
This isn’t going to change, but I feel better for calling attention to it and gently suggest that you may want to ponder it.
Whether you agree or not, thinking about it may improve our effort to use the right word or words as opposed to the almost right ones.