Earlier this month a local woman was raped by an unknown assailant.
Certainly, the nature of the act was outrage enough. But I could hardly believe my ears when I heard how the Metro Police Department spokeswoman described the incident. She said the victim, and I quote, "was raped at gunpoint by this gentleman."
I don't want to embarrass this police spokeswoman, but no definition of "gentleman" I'm aware of includes men who rape women at gunpoint. The dictionary says a gentleman is "A well-mannered and considerate man with high standards of proper behavior." Gentleman is a word that means what it says. It refers to a gentle man.
This rapist was in no way a gentleman and for a police spokeswoman to refer to him that way is a disservice to our language.
What would have been wrong with calling him "this attacker?" Why not call him "this miscreant?" Until we have a "suspect" what's wrong with simply calling this unknown person "this rapist?" Anything but "this gentleman."
Words still mean something. That's why we have so many of them. Our language skills are clumsy and awkward when compared to the elegance of our forefathers. We must use our words properly or we will simply lose the ability to use them at all.
What do you think? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View.