Wildfire: an apology

Register smokes its words

The Register wishes to apologise unreservedly to all English speakers for the number of times the word 'wildfire' has appeared in Mike Magee's stories over the last few days.

We now accept that overuse of an English word results in a severe degradation of the language, eventually leading to words becoming hackneyed.

We wish to apologise to the word 'wildfire' for threatening it with such a fate, and to set the record straight include the following definition of the word from the Oxford English Dictionary.

wildfire 1. Destructive or uncontrollable fire, a conflagration. 2a Any of various inflammatory eruptive skin diseases, esp those in which the infection spreads from one part to another, spec erisepelas. Now rare a leafspot disease of tobacco... C.M. Doughty: "There is now a wild-fire in my heart which cannot be appeased till I be avenged."

We unreservedly assure the word 'wildfire' that we will never abuse it again. ®

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