Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Steroids: Bad drugs, good metaphor?

Steroids have been used -- abused, really -- to build muscle mass and improve athletic performance. By bodybuilders and weight lifters. By football and baseball players. And by both professional and wanna-be athletes.

For decades, steroids have ruined bodies, careers, and lives. You would think steroids is a topic best avoided. Even the word itself should be left alone. But it's not.

When describing an innovation -- the next hot new thing -- people can't resist describing it as being "on steroids."
That's only a small sample of all the news stories and other media mentions of things being "on steroids." AS IF anything on steroids could be a good thing.

Being "on steroids" is just plain bad, both literally (it's a harmful drug) and figuratively (it's a cliche).

As someone who lifts a few weights and who writes for a living, I pledge to never use steroids, either as a muscle enhancer or a metaphor. 

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