There once was a Second Amendment paladin in the Houston area who lay in wait one night to discharge his Ruger into the belly of a nefarious shadow on his castle’s driveway; having done which he laid his weapon down, only to discover that the presumptive intruder, now dead, was a lost Scotsman from abroad who sought directions out of the neighborhood.
This true tragic tale illustrates how the English language lays traps for its natives. The traps lie in wait for the under-schooled journalist to come trudging by. When he (or she) trips a trap the effect is paradoxical for being little noted, if at all, by him (or her) — in stark contrast to how the slug affected the Scotsman — and even less by his (or her) lack-minded readers who have trod the same terrain where the trap has lain, and who have tripped it with the same effect.
(c) 2019 JMN