OK. I’ve had it. For a while there, I was trying to ignore a mystifying tendency on the part of public people everywhere to snip off the hard edges of language and turn all concepts into verbal mush. But recently, when a radio reporter announced that an overturned tractor-trailer was causing traffic issues on the New Jersey Turnpike, I finally began to paw at the earth with my hooves, snort fire, and reach for my pen.
Problems. Problems. Yes, world. Even though we have been trained to call stewardesses flight attendants, waiters servers, deaf people hearing impaired, manic-depressives bi-polar, and fat ladies real women (ha! Tell that to my scale), we still do have problems.
Let us consider two definitions brought to you courtesy of The Oxford American Dictionary.
“Issue: The point in question, an important topic for discussion.”
“Problem: Something difficult to deal with or understand.”
“At issue, Mrs. Farnagle, is whether it is sensible to order hot coffee from a drive-through diner, place that coffee cup between your legs, and then attempt to transfer it safely to your mouth while you are driving a car.”