We should fight against these issues.


We should fight against these social tensions.

are they correct?

  • 1
    What makes you doubt your choices? – JMB May 2 '15 at 17:47
  • 2
    One typically addresses issues and resolves tensions. Using martial metaphor here feels off. – Dan Bron May 2 '15 at 21:52
  • What are "social tensions"? – Brian Hitchcock May 3 '15 at 11:48
  • @JMB well actually I would go with both of them, I was wondering which one sound the best. – JinSnow May 14 '15 at 10:52

Both of these strike me as very casual uses of the words in play: the sort of thing people say when they're content to say something in the general neighborhood of what they mean without stopping to think about what they are saying.

In casual speech, for instance, issues has recently come to mean basically the same thing as problems—"I have issues with that". But in formal discourse an issue is either a point of disagreement or the disagreement itself. It makes little sense to speak of fighting a disagreement. One may fight for one side or the other, or fight to resolve the disagreement, but I don't see how you can fight against the disagreement itself.

Tensions, whether social or political or economic or personal, are in much the same case. No doubt we all want to reduce tensions, or resolve them, or minimize them; but it's hard to see how this might be accomplished by fighting against the tensions themselves, which would on the contrary seem to be a pretty tension-inducing activity!

  • Notwithstanding inane Bush-speak War on Terror! – Brian Hitchcock May 3 '15 at 11:50
  • @Brian Hitchcock was it a code? – JinSnow May 3 '15 at 12:47
  • @StoneyB I understood the rule (or the usage) but I still find weird we could "fight against poverty" but not against a "social tension/issue" since poverty is a social tension/issue... – JinSnow May 3 '15 at 14:46
  • @GuillaumeCombot Not really. Poverty causes social tension, and it is an 'issue' only in the sense that it is the subject of much argument. – StoneyB on hiatus May 3 '15 at 17:49

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