And With One Word, The Whole Mood Changes

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2014, 03:21 pm

This news story was a fine read, except for this sentence, which spoke to me in a louder volume than anything else the reporter could have said. Actually, it was only one word in the sentence. Can you find it?

Diagnosing a child with autism is usually done when the infant turns two, but using MEG technology, this could be done as early as after one year of existence.

If you don’t know what word I’m talking about, the word was “existence.” Existence? wouldn’t a more natural choice have been “age”? Does anybody in their right mind say “It’s my birthday! I’ve existed this many years!”? to say “existence”, to me, tells me what the reporter thinks of kids with autism. they don’t live. They don’t get older. They exist.

I’m not usually one who thinks people should think more about the words they use than the idea they’re trying to get across, but for some reason, this choice of words seemed so beyond wrong that it demanded to be mentioned. It was like the reporter went above and beyond to find an abnormal way to express something that didn’t need to be made into something weird.

Thankfully the story was already mostly over, because I couldn’t listen to anything else the reporter had to say without seeing it through a lens skewed by anger. Am I weird in thinking this?

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