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9/4/05 AM

8:15 AM: I'm reading the paper and finding myelf very irritated by the word "victim." I do crime research, and the word had never bothered me before, but one time someone called Sophie a "cancer victim" and it really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt like it implied negative things (like passivity or even death). I guess in the case of cancer, things like "cancer patient" or "cancer survivor" seem like euphemisms. I tend to stick with "she has cancer." I guess "cancer victim" seems to say to me that the cancer has her rather than the other way around. Anyhow, with all this media coverage of the hurricane, I see the word "victim" a lot, and it seems to me that "victim" best describes those who have lost their lives. I prefer to use more positive adjectives to describe the ones who made it. I know they have been "victimized" too, but somehow, I would think they would want a less passive word used to describe how they've fought and will continue to fight. I don't know if this makes any sense, but I felt compelled to share how that word has changed in meaning for me since Sophe's diagnosis, no matter what the dictionary says.