“The health issues that come with eating fast food…”

Part two in the “sentences that need not have been written” series.

“The health issues that come with eating fast food can cause one to become obese and have health issues.”

Now, maybe this sentence isn’t circular at all. Perhaps the first “health issues” are, what, stimulated appetite? Addiction to sugar or fat? Cavities? We know obesity isn’t one of the  health issues mentioned here, because obesity can be caused by these health issues. What else can be caused by them? Ah. Health issues. These must be other health issues: diabetes, perhaps; high blood pressure; heart attacks? Or maybe just addiction to sugar or fat, because really, if the first one isn’t defined then we can’t rule out any possible definitions for the second.

I can’t overthink this. It may just be one of those sentence-interruptus products: halfway through the sentence, his roommate says “Hey, let’s go over and get some lunch” or the hot girlfriend texts “PARTY TIME!” and the writer stops, mid-sentence, to do this other, more attractive, thing. Upon returning to task, he doesn’t waste time reading what he’s already written, but just plows ahead. That might explain it.

Or he knows what he means by “health issues” but doesn’t want to share. He might feel “health issue” is a more grown-up term than “diabetes.”

There is always the possibility, of course, that he doesn’t know what he means by “health issues” but is sure someone must. Either he has no imagination or he’s reluctant to pin himself down.

Maybe he’s afraid if he mentions one he’ll forget a more obvious one and the reader will laugh at him….

Use your words, dear. And I don’t mean “issues,” which you’ve heard a lot lately and feel safe with; I mean the ones in the OED, or at least in Webster’s—the clear, concrete terms people used before the mass media, fear of commitment, and lazy thinking replaced them all with “issues.”

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About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

3 responses to ““The health issues that come with eating fast food…”

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