I’ve just about had it up to here with those who keep using the “h-word” improperly.
I saw a tweet this afternoon about the death of pro wrestler Dusty Rhodes. It referred to him as a “blue-collar hero.”
Blue-collar hero? Yep. That’s what it said.
I’m on the verge of declaring war on the misuse of that word.
My war declaration, though, requires me to come up with an alternative word.
In the Dusty Rhodes case, what could we use to replace the term “hero” as it was used in that tweet? Blue-collar celebrity? Blue-collar icon? Blue-collar star?
The words “icon” and “star” perhaps overstate Rhodes’s status. But what the heck, this isn’t about Dusty Rhodes. It’s about the constant misuse of a term that should be used sparingly — and only to describe individuals deserving of the term.
A friend of mine noted that Caitlyn Jenner — the woman formerly known as Bruce Jenner — is being touted as a hero. I haven’t heard that term attached to Caitlyn Jenner, although it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.
Heroes are fighting men and women who put themselves in harm’s way in defense of the country; they are firefighters who rush into burning buildings to save people’s lives; they are police officers who risk their lives arresting violent criminals.
They aren’t athletes. Or entertainers. Or reality-TV celebrities.
Can we stop misusing that word? Please?