I don’t like to admit this, but I yell at the TV sometimes — usually during newscasts when it comes to word usage (or over usage). You may remember my rant about shallow graves. My latest rant regards crimes committed “in broad daylight.”
It’s not that the news writers are using the term incorrectly. One of the less common definitions of “broad” is “open or full.” So to commit a crime in broad daylight means to commit a crime in full daylight.
What I object to is the value judgment surrounding the phrase. The newscasters say it as if crimes committed during the day are so much more serious or brazen than crimes committed in the dark of night. A hint of admiration tinges the announcer’s voice because goodness knows, all proper criminals wait until the cover of darkness to do their dastardly deeds. To commit a crime during the day goes against the rules and expectations of society. And it’s funny, but you never hear about crimes being committed in narrow daylight – like evenings or mornings. It’s either “under the cover of darkness” or “in broad daylight.”
Call me an old fuddy-duddy if you will, but to me, a crime is a crime, no matter what time of day it is committed. Crimes are not to be admired, even massive jewelry heists in broad daylight. They are assaults on businesses and persons. When crimes happen doesn’t matter as much as the fact that they happened at all.
I’d rather the news writers stopped making a big deal over when crimes occurred and paid more attention to the true impact of the offenses. But I suppose that’s too much to ask.
Okay. Latest rant over.