The use of the word issues to mean problems has become so pervasive that many of us no longer know that there is a difference between the two words–but have no fear: we here at languageandgrammar.com are always here to remind you. I’ve included an entry about it in Literally, the Best Language Book Ever, and Sherry recently wrote two posts about it (You Have Problems, Not Issues and Update on Issues and Problems). As if that were not enough (notice that I’m using the subjunctive), here’s yet another entry.
A recent article about the Pittsburgh Pirates talked about the top 10 issues facing the team in the upcoming season (Pirates Spring Preview: Top 10 Issues). For most teams, I might relent and allow issues to be used in a preview article since the article might, indeed, be a list of topics. For this team, though, there’s no doubt that they’re highlighting problems for the team–if not problems, at least challenges that the team needs to overcome.
This once-proud franchise is a major league disaster. They haven’t had a winning season since 1992, and it’s not likely to change any time soon. The payroll is limited, prospects are few and far between, their best players have little trade value, and the owners seems to be completely committed to lining their pockets with the revenue-sharing money. In fact, a recent free agent who received a competitive bid from the team said that he wasn’t really interested in playing for the team.
Believe me, this team has problems, not issues–and a lot of them.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever