Okay, I know, this is another rant–my second in a week. But this stuff soooo irritates me that I can’t leave it alone.
Yesterday I came across this headline on one of the bee sites: “Could the combination of miticides and varroacides be causing CCD?”
Now what bothers me here is that a varroacide is a miticide. So this is like saying, “a combination of fruit and apples.” Or did they mean a combination of varroacides (in particular) and other miticides (in general?) Or are they totally confused? I suspected the latter.
So I checked out the article they linked to and guess what? The article was about a combination of fungicides and varroacides. So why didn’t they say so? Fungicides are an altogether different type of chemical. It makes me wonder if they even read the article before they reported on it.
In my opinion, writers shouldn’t use words if they don’t know what they mean. And writers who purport to disseminate scientific information have a duty to their readers to get it right—or at least try to get it right.
As far as I know, no one has a corner on the word market. Any writer can look up the words and see what they mean before using them in a sentence. Thing is, this stuff is hard enough to understand without muddled writers mucking it up.