Friday, May 14, 2021


Harbor News Chose Hyperbole

As editor it should be your responsibility to rein in your writers if they engage in reckless hyperbole, especially in regard to the present situation. In the Dec. 31, 2020 issue, on page 3 you printed, “After decimating parts of Asia and Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic reached Clinton in March.”

As editor, you should be cognizant of the meaning of words. By definition, “decimation” implies a fatality rate of at least 10 percent of a specified population. This is hardly the case as reported COVID-19 survival rates are greater than 99 percent. This is abundantly clear to anyone with clear powers of observation and common sense, but the Harbor News chose the path of hyperbole. Publishing such pablum posing as journalism is not helping the situation in Clinton or elsewhere.

Dave Gagnon

Editor’s note: While the U.S. fatality rate of COVID-19 does not reach the author’s referenced historic definition of the word “decimate,” the current accepted use of the word, which is to destroy a great number or proportion of something, accurately describes the local social, economic, and human life impact of the pandemic.