When headlines shout,
you look for the right words
A week late, USA Today notes below the fold, Mass grave with remains
of 215 children found at Indigenous school in Canada, an ‘unthinkable loss’
When headlines make you cry,
you separate emotion from fact
Emotion: the quotation marks give a big hint –
unthinkable loss / don’t think or worry, they’re found
Facts: mass grave, remains, 215 children,
Indigenous school, Canada
Grave / a depository for remains / whatever’s
left / and children, youth, babies, that’s grave
Indigenous school / the same ones we opened &
forced First Nations into the American machine
But this happened in Canada, British Columbia, not here,
not in the US – our hands aren’t bloodied by this one, breathe.
Relax. When headlines make you think too much, get lost
in the details, test to see if the definitions meet the criteria –
mass (noun) a large amount or number [a mass of bruises]
a number like 215 would easily qualify as a large quantity
When the right word comes to you, look at all the options:
mass (noun) a piece or amount of no definite shape or size [a mass of clay]
mass (in physics) the amount of matter in a body / bodies, plural,
would be more appropriate for our example / the masses, working
people as a class, or the public generally / acceptable grouping
for indigenous communities sending their 215 children for education
mass (noun) the service in the Roman Catholic Church and some other churches
in which Holy Communion takes place / music set to certain parts of this service
Pray. Just pray. And pray again.
When the right word is an adjective
mass (adj) of a large number of persons or things / which applies here?
Sometimes the right word has multiple definitions that fit.