I noticed. I even posted about this on alt.english.usage about a
I especially noticed when the judge on the People's Court said
something about a woman in the courtroom having problems. The womane
very sternly, firmly, maybe angrily, said, "I don't problems. I have
Maybe it's a sign of weakness to have problems, but issue has other
I don't know if it is sudden or not. Maybe so if it only started a
couple years ago, but I also don't know when it started. Maybe much
I think "political correctness" is a silly term. It has always been
proper not to say offensive things, especially when the ones who will
be offended are either present or will hear or read it later.
The people who most complain about political correctness are the ones
who don't mind being rude, offensive, obnoxious. In fact the ones who
complain the most like being that way but don't like being criticized
In my mind, problem has a slight negative connotation. If a problem
isn't fixed, something undesirable will likely result. Whereas, issue
does not carry that conation in my mind. An issues can be addressed or
ignored, and something undesirable may or may not happen.
If I had a personality problem, I would much rather it be described as
an issue, that way I wouldn't feel pressured to address it. That's why
I personally consider it to be bull-shit feel-good double-speak.
Like so much else in American (and maybe Western) culture.
People treated Hamlet's remarks and behavior as issues: something they
wished to discuss with him. Under it all, the king and queen considered
it his problem: he had to shape up or suffer the consequences.
When Ophelia spoke and acted inappropriately, people considered it her
problem, not an issue. They claimed to love her but felt that she might
as well be dead if she had a problem she couldn't handle.
I suspect that it is a trickle-down from business-speak. According to
upper management, you never have a "problem," you have an "opportunity"
(to satisfy/impress a customer with your handing of a "situation.")
Well, yeah, there's that, but sometimes I have real problems, as well.
(I just don't use that word when talking to customers.)
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
An issue is a problem for debate or discussion. In business,
counseling, or usenet, problems are likely to be issues. Sometimes
calling a problem an issue is a demand for attention or a way of laying
responsibility on somebody else.
"Problem" has a negative meaning like something is wrong that may not
have a solution. "Issue" sounds like an anomaly that can be
corrected. At least at the workplace, never present a problem (or
issue) which you do not have a suggestion for a fix else you may be
labeled as a "problem" and not a "problem solver."
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.