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Letter: ‘For’ Proper Language Usage

Recent Herald stories were about a “FARE Walk FOR Food Allergy,” the “6th Annual Walk FOR Autism” and the “10th Annual Walk FOR Alzheimer’s Disease.” I thought the Herald practiced good journalism by changing the word “FOR” to the word “AGAINST” in some of its own headlines, but the poor choice of wording used by some of these admirable charitable organizations still bothers me. Elsewhere, I’ve also read about the “Avon Walk FOR Breast Cancer,” a “Walk FOR Diabetes,” a “Walk FOR Multiple Sclerosis” and “Project Bread’s Walk FOR Hunger, etc. Personally, I am not “FOR” any of these debilitating diseases and otherwise horrible conditions, which combined afflict tens or hundreds of millions of people across the country and planet. I’m “AGAINST” these horrible  scourges, and wish they could all be wiped off the face of the Earth. 

Of course, I’m sure that view is especially shared by all the fine people who work FOR these charitable organizations, and good-deed events. I just wish they’d be a little more judicious with the language used to name the groups and their activities. If they can’t replace the word “FOR” with the word “AGAINST,” then perhaps they’d consider directly following the word “FOR” with phrases like “(For) Research Into The Causes Of,” “(For) The Cure Of,”  “(For) People with”  or “(For) The End Of;” or titles like “Walk FOR Parkinson’s PREVENTION.” etc.

I’m sure you get the idea. Of course, “actions usually do speak louder than mere  words,” but words do carry meaning. For instance, I would hesitate to sign a petition titled “Walk FOR Drunk Driving,” no matter how sure I was about what the people behind it meant.

Richard Siegelman