Dr. Goodword’s Language Blog

Living in Spoiled Areas

At lunch I heard a news reader on TV answer the question, “What is your favorite place that you would like to return to on vacation” with “Machu Pichu, because the whole area is so unspoiled.”

Although I’ve heard the phrase “unspoiled area” many times before, this time it caught my attention for some reason. We all love to spend vacations in unspoiled areas. Why? Well, obviously to get away from spoiled areas, such as the places where we work and live.

This strikes me as an odd way to think of our homes and hometowns—spoiled. Spolied by what or whom? Well, since an unspoiled area is usually one with little or no population or pollution, the spoilers must be us. How could we even imply that this magnificant, technologically advanced society in which we live is spoiled?

What is lurking there in the backs of our minds? Does it tell us anything about ourselves?

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