Weirded out by this synonym of disconcerting

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nosebleed
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Weirded out by this synonym of disconcerting

Post by nosebleed » Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:46 pm

I watch a fair amount of newscasts on TV and read or hear what pundits are saying. Since when did "concerning" become such a popular synonym for "disconcerting"? I hear this so so frequently any more: pundits say "I find it concerning that..." instead of "I find it disconcerting that...". I don't doubt the validity of that phraseology, I suppose; it just sounds alien and unfamiliar. Oh I'll adjust. I'd like to hear other opinions. Thanks.

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Joe
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Re: Weirded out by this synonym of disconcerting

Post by Joe » Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:50 pm

nosebleed wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:46 pm
I watch a fair amount of newscasts on TV and read or hear what pundits are saying. Since when did "concerning" become such a popular synonym for "disconcerting"? I hear this so so frequently any more: pundits say "I find it concerning that..." instead of "I find it disconcerting that...". I don't doubt the validity of that phraseology, I suppose; it just sounds alien and unfamiliar. Oh I'll adjust. I'd like to hear other opinions. Thanks.
Concerning your post, I find that most online dictionaries define "concerning" as
1. preposition meaning about, regarding
2. adjective meaning causing anxiety, worrying

At the same time, if I refer to my 1995 Concise Oxford Dictionary the only reference I find for "concerning" is as a preposition meaning: about, regarding

Whether this reflects an actual change in the language I cannot say, though I suspect so.

I would add that I don't think "disconcerting" can be seen as a synonym for "worrying". The usual dictionary definition of "disconcerting" is: causing one to feel unsettled

Having said all that, I personally do find it disconcerting when people use concerning in the way you describe.

Just IMHO.
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nosebleed
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Re: Weirded out by this synonym of disconcerting

Post by nosebleed » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:37 pm

Thank you Joe; it's good to know that I am not alone in my wonder. 'Not real sure that "worrying" is a valid synonym though surely "worrisome" qualifies.

Yes, that "concerning" phrasing is ubiquitous nowadays. A few examples are found in today's Google News headlines (USA edition):
"COVID-19 Cases Trend in Utah is 'Concerning'.
and, "Cleveland Clinic reports ‘concerning decrease’ in mental health ER visits as ...".
and, "'Gravely concerning:' 15 kids injured, killed in Milwaukee gun violence ...".

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