• http://www.rimmkaufman.com George Michie

    Great piece, Byrne! You are right on as usual. Local TV news has followed this model for years. When I was a kid the weatherman in the summer used to say: “chance of afternoon thunder showers.” (sometime even ‘thunder boomers”). Now they say “SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING”. I wonder if people will become desensitized to strong language at some point. Nevertheless, in the short run, spicy still works, just as marketing copywriters have found it hard to beat “Free’ as a pitch phrase.