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Who's firing all these bullets?

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
"If you were like me and stayed glued to the television set to watch the coverage of Hurricane Katrina, you may have noticed one phrase repeated over and over. And over again.
"Such and such (fill in the blank for any area you want) dodged a bullet," the announcers said.
I've noticed this phrase cropping up a lot lately and don't quite understand why it's become so popular.
Any time storm damage isn't as bad as someone predicted, said area is said to have "dodged a bullet." If a politician sidesteps a particularly controversial issue they, too, "dodged a bullet." If a manufacturer discovers a problem with a particular product and then fixes it so no one is harmed, the company and the consumer are considered to have "dodged a bullet."
It seems there is a lot of ammunition being thrown around today and the phrase can be adapted to cover a range of situations.
Take a side road to avoid an interstate traffic jam? You dodged a traffic bullet.
Didn't burn dinner? You dodged a bad-tasting bullet.
Bought something on sale? You dodged a high-priced bullet.
There were lots of bullet comments fired by announcers covering the hurricane. There were deadly bullets, fearsome bullets and soggy bullets. I didn't hear anyone talk about silver bullets, but I believe those are reserved for werewolf and vampires.
I've added "dodged a bullet" to my list of phrases I cannot stand, a catalog that appears to be growing daily. It includes such gems as:
"To tell the truth"
"In all honesty"
"Needless to say"
"Like" and "you know" (as in I, like, you know, like, really don't, you know, like those words).
You can add any sort of weird abbreviation to this list, too. The word "lite" instead of "light" or "nite" instead of "night" drives me crazy and I'm convinced they are to blame for our lack of language skills in this country.
E-mail language such as LOL (laugh out loud) or UR (you're) are annoying, too, though I don't know anyone above age 16 who use those on a regular basis.
Don't even get me started on people who replace "C" with a "K" just to come up with a cute name, such as "Kountry Kitchen" for a restaurant.
I hope all those who are recovering from hurricane damage are able to do so quickly. I hope we all realize we have a responsibility to help our neighbors at this time, even if we've never met them. And, I'm glad in some ways we seem to have dodged the bullet but I refuse to say it.
In all honesty, it, like, you know, gets on my last nerve and needless to say, I don't care for the phrase.