Department of Understated Statements

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In the tragedy that consumed [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag] on April 16, leaving 33 dead bodies on campus, I was glued to the TV like anyone else who had the time to do so. I even watched a whole press conference, during which [tag]Security Chief Wendell Flinchum[/tag] said in answer to a question:

"It was probably one of the worst things I’ve seen in my life."

When I heard this, I didn’t think too much about it, but when the same quotation appeared in the newspaper the next morning, I stumbled a bit when I got to it.  The understatement of it all suddenly hit home.  If this were "one of the worst," what’s the worst?  Unless Mr. Flinchum served in Vietnam, and he looked too young for that, it’s hard to imagine he’d ever seen something worse. Anyway, the point here is just that it’s very hard to speak during a crisis because of all the emotions, stresses and challenges. I have no intention of making fun of the gentleman, just to point out how words can escape or confuse the best of us in the heat of a tragedy.

Categories: Grammar Sucks

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