At lunch today Bonnie Zurcher, wife of the traveling man Neil Zurcher, brought up one of her pet peeves.
“Why does everyone say, ‘Someone went missing?’ Nobody goes missing. They might disappear, but they don’t go missing,” said Bonnie.
She’s absolutely correct. That’s what I have contended for several years, since the silly expression became the most misused cliche of recent times. The first person to say it probably thought it was a quaint way to say you don’t know where someone is.
Listen, the person who’s missing knows exactly where he is. Just because you don’t know where he is doesn’t mean he’s missing.
To be correct, switch around the subject and predicate, like this. No one knows where Mary Lou is. She went somewhere. But she didn’t go missing because you cannot find “Missing” on a map. I’ve never heard of a town called “Missing.” It’s not a place. It’s also not a condition, like Mary Lou has gone crazy. She might go crazy, but she did not go missing.
I’m babbling angrily now because I’m sick of the media using that ridiculous expression. I’m going away now. But I’m not going missing. I’m going to a bar. If I’m not back by morning, check the police station or the morgue. But you won’t find me missing.
Signing off mad.