Stop calling it smog!

That’s what Boiseans would tell you. They hate the word ‘smog.’ They always use the term ‘inversion,’ thus confusing the partial cause of the problem with the ugly result of the problem. It’s not bombing; it’s air support.

If there’s any phenomenon that can move me to start making fun of a sacred cow, it is the euphemism. ‘Euphemism’ is itself a euphemism: for the word ‘lie.’ Not that some lies aren’t bearable or pardonable; surely they are. If you think otherwise, substitute the word ‘fat’ for all its euphemisms, and watch the fun unfold.

Boise is the first place I have ever lived in which I cared about the AQI (Air Quality Index). Overall, it’s a very nice place, which may be why this euphemistic tendency afflicts it. However, I think we need a more realistic and descriptive scale than the Idaho Department of Letting Corporations Pollute applies to the data. Herewith I present the KBSI (Kelley Boise Smog Index):

AQ

Descriptor

Significance

0-20 City Good Still urban, but bearable. Does not actually occur.
21-40 Flatus Slightly bearable. Occurs rarely. Stifling to sensitive systems.
41-60 Los Angeles Lousy. And is the norm. Stifling even to goats.
61-90 Sarin Miserable (and common). Preppers dig out their gas masks.
91+ Beijing Certain death. Shelter in place, or wait for the Corpse Wagon.
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