Near miss

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No Spam:
Several media outlets in Boston had article this week about some recent near misses on the runways of Logan airport. The Boston Globe (and its website) used the terms "near-crash" and "near collision", while all the other sources (that I read) used the more common "near miss".
Today, the Globe changed to "near miss" but enclosed the term in scare quotes.
None of the events mentioned were crashes or collisions. They were all misses. So what's the objection to calling a miss a miss? I've heard some strong objections to this usage, usually from the same crowd that gets in a huff over split infinitives and prepositions ending sentences. Maybe a miss sounds more sensational if you call it a crash?
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Don A. Gilmore:
[nq:1]Several media outlets in Boston had article this week about some recent near misses on the runways of Logan airport. ... huff over split infinitives and prepositions ending sentences. Maybe a miss sounds more sensational if you call it a crash?[/nq]
You appear to be reading it as an event that was "near" and was a "miss". A "near miss" could also imply that you "nearly missed" something which means that you almost, but did not miss it...so you hit it. I guess a better term might be "near hit", implying that you almost hit it.

Don
Kansas City
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Bob Cunningham:
[nq:1]Several media outlets in Boston had article this week about some recent near misses on the runways of Logan airport. ... huff over split infinitives and prepositions ending sentences. Maybe a miss sounds more sensational if you call it a crash?[/nq]
If you nearly miss something, you just barely hit it.

A near hit would be a miss that went near.
But the Times (Los Angeles, not Seattle) had a story in the last day or two about near hits at the Los Angeles International Airport, and they called them near misses.
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Skitt:
[nq:2]Several media outlets in Boston had article this week about ... miss sounds more sensational if you call it a crash?[/nq]
[nq:1]If you nearly miss something, you just barely hit it. A near hit would be a miss that went near. ... the last day or two about near hits at the Los Angeles International Airport, and they called them near misses.[/nq]
Usage of the term, as reflected in M-W Online, is as follows:

Main Entry: near miss
Function: noun

1 a : a miss (as with a bomb) close enough to cause damageb : something that falls just short of success

2 a : a near collision (as between aircraft)b : CLOSE CALL
AHD4 puts it this way:
near miss
NOUN: 1. A narrowly avoided collision involving two or more aircraft, ships, boats, or motor vehicles.

2. A missile strike that is extremely close to but not directly on target.
3. Something that fails by a very narrow margin: Her campaign for the Senatewas a near miss.
ETYMOLOGY: Blend of near thing and miss1.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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Bob Cunningham:
[nq:2]If you nearly miss something, you just barely hit it. ... Los Angeles International Airport, and they called them near misses.[/nq]
[nq:1]Usage of the term, as reflected in M-W Online, is as follows: Main Entry: near miss Function: noun 1 a ... a very narrow margin: Her campaign for the Senate was a near miss. ETYMOLOGY: Blend of near thing and miss1.[/nq]
Yeah, there's logic and there's entrenched misusage that dictionaries are forced to recognize. Forget logic: Norma Loquendi will have her way.
Those of us who dislike the (at best) ambiguity of "near miss" can find other ways to say what we mean.
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ray o'hara:
[nq:2]Several media outlets in Boston had article this week about ... miss sounds more sensational if you call it a crash?[/nq]
[nq:1]You appear to be reading it as an event that was "near" and was a "miss".A "near miss" could also ... hit it. I guess a better term might be "near hit", implying that you almost hit it. Don Kansas City[/nq]
A near miss and nearly missed are different things, the second term implies disaster.
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