April 25th, 2013

Missing

The other day, I came across an odd rant in the blog of a self-published true crime writer, who claimed that it was inappropriate to use the word "missing" in connection with a person who might have voluntarily disappeared or taken their own life. According to him, "missing" was properly reserved for those likely to be victims of a crime like abduction or murder. He actually got kind of indignant about it.

I realize that sometimes the connotation of a word may trump its dictionary definition, but I've never heard this writer's argument before and it just seems bizarre to me.

Any thoughts? Is he right?