Thursday, October 20, 2005
MOCO: NOT OUR NAME
When will the Weekly stop abbreviating the name of our fine county with a word that—if not offensive, then at least is gross to a huge portion of our county’s residents. You’ve been told before but I’ll say it again, loud and clear, “moco” in Spanish means snot!
Ignorance is one thing, but this has been pointed out to the Weekly staff before.
I was very dismayed to open my latest Weekly and find the crude abbreviation used by a letter-writer! Please, stop, once and for all!
As a service to the Weekly I provide below a bevy of
abbreviations for Monterey County which to the best of my
knowledge are not offensive in any language much less in the
second most widely spoken language in Monterey County. Here
goes: MontCo, Mont. Con., MCo, MC, MoCount., MonCo, MCont.,
MoCon, MonCon, MonCoun, MontCon, MCon… —Celia A. Bosworth |
NOTE: The Weekly staff has generally abandoned the “MoCo” abbreviation once common in these pages (thanks, in part, to the letter-writer’s efforts). The offending word still may show up in letters, because some people like it. —Editor
METH: NOT THAT BAD
Your cover story on meth use couldn’t have come at a better time.
I teach a college course about drug use and abuse in the US. Recently my class has been discussing the history of American media coverage of drug issues. Your meth story provided a perfect, real-life, up-to-the-minute example of the exaggeration and hyperbole that has characterized our media’s coverage of drug problems for at least the past 80 years.
Despite its utility as a teaching tool, the article’s appearance saddened me, since I normally find the Weekly a refreshingly honest and objective source of information. But your claim that meth is “the most deadly recreational drug” is simply false. That honor probably goes to heroin, which has a much, much higher rate of fatal overdoses per use. (If you meant death due to long-term use, the deadliest still isn’t meth, it’s nicotine.)
Similarly, there is no good evidence that meth is now, or ever will be, “the most popular” recreational drug in this county, or elsewhere in the US. Evidence shows that marijuana is much, much more widely used, and that cocaine, Ecstasy, hallucinogens, painkillers and tranquilizers all have higher rates of recreational use than methamphetamine.
Nor is meth “lethally addictive,” whatever your reporter meant by that. Meth is neither instantly or universally addictive, nor is it always lethal to users, abusers, or even addicts.
That local law enforcement think meth use is on the rise, that more arrestees are testing positive for meth, or that there are more meth-related arrests, tells us little about meth’s actual popularity or usage rates among the general population.
Clearly, meth is a dangerous and highly addictive drug that is associated with property crime, severe health risks, environmental damage, and family dysfunction, among other things. But exaggerating its dangers and popularity is irresponsible. The Weekly can do better. —Ann Lucas | Salinas