In yet another example of the trashing of the English language, I am here to publically take exception to the use of the word “gentleman” to describe a “man.” 

Today’s local evening newscast featured a segment about a bold daylight robbery of a fine jewelry store in a very busy section of town.  The owner/manager of the store repeatedly referred to the two robbers as “gentlemen.”  As in “the gentlemen came in the door, immediately smashing several glass cases.  One gentleman used crow bars to break the glass….  The gentlemen were in the store exactly 31 seconds.  We have 16 video cameras trained on the cases, and were fortunate enough to get some very good pictures of the gentlemen….” 

Excuse me, but since when are two gun-toting robbers classified as “gentlemen?”  I hear it all the time, under less extenuating circumstances, to be sure, but it is one of those situations where it is beginning to sound like fingernails-on-the-chalkboard.  A gentleman is a gentle man.  A class act.  Someone to be admired and emulated.  Altogether now, let’s all practice writing on the blackboard 100 times:

“A jerk armed robber is not a gentleman!”

PS:  For the second time in a week I was sorry to see that the same jewelry store was robbed.  This time someone drove a stolen vehicle through the front window at 2:00 AM.  When the owner gave his on camera interview, I noticed that the description had changed to “guy”.