If you are from the old generation, you will remember the 1959 film “Some Like It Hot” by Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe. At that time, the word “some” was used correctly. It was used to mean that “some” liked a certain thing differently than the rest.
Today, the word “some”, which is being used too often in the media, is meant to hint to unidentified sources and references that are unknown to us, which makes us tend to disbelieve what we are being told.
In the talk shows or the news bulletins, you will find that the presenters often begin their investigative reporting of what we see on the screen by saying that “some” interpret it like this, “some” like that and yet another “some,” which we also do not know who, neither do the presenters, interpret it in a third way.
No one tells us who those “some” are, leaving it up to us viewers to guess as in a riddle. The point here is to avoid mentioning the names of those “some,” otherwise the program would be expected to bring them in order to state their points of view. For the viewer is not supposed to hear except one point of view from one known source so as to avoid confusion.
The word even started to be used in M.A. and Ph.D. dissertations, which professors have banned unless clearly identified in the references.
There are 40 million people in Egypt active on social networking sites. If “some” of them think like this and “some” think like that, those would be millions. Can the media still call them “some?”
Excuse me if I left important issues like terrorism, the economic conditions and the religious revolution to talk about an issue of linguistics. The reason is that this issue dumps us in obscurity at a time when we need the highest degree of clarity.
Einstein once said two things are endless: The universe and human stupidity, adding that he had doubts about the first.
I say the excessive use of the word “some” is proof of the second.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm