Every year, about this time, we get one or two (or three, or four) big, heavy, wet snowfalls. And every time we do, journalists, meteorologists and/or people in the media use the ugly and horrible descriptor “heart attack snow” to describe the event.
I call on those in the media to stop using this phrase.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the United States. Which means it affects real people every single day — including the former mayor of Minneapolis. It should be not used as a throwaway phrase in a weather forecast.
We would not say “homeless person killer” when describing a really cold day. Nor “trailer park destroyer” when describing a tornado. Nor we would call a really sunny day a “skin cancer day.” Because those would be insensitive, of course. But somehow “heart attack snow” — which is just as ugly and insensitive — is perfectly OK.
Sure this is a small thing, but little acts of empathy are never a bad idea. So maybe next time there is a big, heavy, wet snow, people in the media should just say, “heavy, wet snow today, be careful shoveling out there.”
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