This week we've seen the words zany, weird, wacky, outrageous and troubled used to describe someone who apparently has mental health problems and who wanted to be on the X-Factor TV show. As I said the other day, the one word avoided by the Sun was 'bonkers', which may have been in the wake of their previous atrocity regarding BONKERS BRUNO, bi-polar former heavyweight boxing champion Frank Bruno.
Today's Star doesn't worry about such problems though:
Ah, there we are. Someone's 'bonkers' because they 'cracked up'. In a way, I suppose, you can link it with the discussion of the cat/bin lady: if someone behaves in any way other than an orthodox one, they must be classified as somehow pertaining to mental illness, insanity, madness - whatever you want to call it.
Of course you could look at it another way - anyone who would willingly be slung into a house broadcast live on television 24 hours a day in which their every cough, grunt, fart and poo is available for scrutiny by the general public could be argued to have a degree more strange behaviour about them than someone who, when put in that situation for 70-plus days and has £100,000 waiting in their bank account as well as the person they're in a fledgling relationship with, decides to get the hell out of there and return to "real life" through the fire exit.
Oh, I don't know. Maybe it's a bit oversensitive of me, I don't know. There's nothing really inherently wrong with calling people 'loons' or 'nuts' or whatever; but the point is, I think, not to focus on language, but the tone of what's being put across. Saying someone's 'bonkers' for walking out of a TV show is probably quite wrong; saying someone's 'cracked up' because they've decided to get the hell out of reality TV isn't right either.
I wish it could be possible to imagine that outlandish, unusual or unorthodox behaviour isn't just the sole preserve of people with mental health problems - we're all quite capable of needing a break the ordinary madness from time to time.