“Horror journey” – “…it was a nightmare … there was no warning…”

“Horror journey”? “Nightmare”? “…no warning…”? What’s happened? Was it an earthquake? A tsunami? Did a bomb explode? A plane crash perhaps? Don’t tell me a meteor has fallen from the sky and obliterated an entire city? Maybe it was a rogue plover on the rampage?

No, it was none of these. The “horror journey” was a traffic jam caused by an unexpected and mysterious closure of both the Domain Tunnel and the Burnley Tunnel on Wednesday. Melbourne drivers using Citylink had to endure long delays. Frustrated commuters were late for work, missed appointments and some even had to put up with whining children sitting in the back seat chanting ‘how much longer?’. No one knows, yet, why the computer control system closed the tunnels to traffic. Maybe it was aliens?

The language used by commuters and the newspapers in describing the situation was highly dramatic. The event was certainly annoying and it inconvenienced a lot of people, but it was hardly catastrophic!

This got me thinking. Have we become ridiculous in our everyday use of highly dramatic language? In times past someone person would only cry out, “Oh my God!” if they were in a car that had just gone airborne over a cliff. Now people exclaim “OMG” when they see someone with a haircut they don’t like or their pen runs out of ink!

Do we use dramatic language too readily? What do you think?

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39 thoughts on ““Horror journey” – “…it was a nightmare … there was no warning…”

  1. I remember hearing that on the news, and how bad it was. It just shows how much we rely on technology these days. I have to admit, anybody would get frustrated if you were stuck in a car for two hours, unable to know what’s going on. In truth it wasn’t really horrible or a nightmare. People just don’t know any better. Most of us have lived good lives, hopefully in health and in wealth. That’s why they take things for granted; that’s why they use ‘dramatic language’ too readily…it’s because, well, it’s probably they haven’t encountered a situation where they would actually have to use it. It’s just a matter of living the good life. So when something interrupts that, I guess you can’t help but be annoyed…

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  2. The problem was definitely over exaggerated, it would be quite annoying to be stuck in traffic for a long period of time, but to describe it as a ‘horror journey’ is pretty ridiculous. Dramatic language is used in every day life, for pointless things. If someone has had bad luck for a day, things like dropping your drink or falling over a few times, it would be the worst day of their life. People are extremely dramatic nowadays, and to be honest, it gets really annoying. As Lin said, people depend on technology a lot more in this society, and it just goes to show that we need to not rely on it as much as we do because problems like this traffic jam seem so much worse than they really are.

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  3. I agree Lin and Chelsea. In many ways we live in a well protected society compared to people in other lands. We do not have to worry about where we are going to get our next meal. We do not feel fear every time we hear a helicopter overhead and have to run for cover. We do not have armed troops patrolling our streets and searching our homes. We can get medical treatment if we need it and if we are out of work the Government has a welfare system in place to look after us. Perhaps it is for these reasons that we get so dramatic over things that are really only minor annoyances?

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  4. The trouble on the roads went overboard and it caused a lot of tension to fire up with people not being able to access the main links which take you into town and bypass close city suburbs. They labelled this event with many outrageous names such as the following: Horror Journey, It was a nightmare and no warnings. There is simply no need for this type of language to explain what has happen, the use of dramatic language makes the situation bigger than what it is and people get a different reaction when they read it compared to a brief accurate definition. Let’s not over react on what we see or hear and tell what is true at the time.

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  5. I think calling it a ‘horror journey’ is a bit over the top and people do over exaggerate on little things these days but i do believe that the scenerio the people were placed in was really serious. People missed important meetings which effect there jobs and that is pretty big for some people. Others arrived late to work which would also be a big deal depending on there job. I think they had full right to complain and get annoyed. However as i said some people do over react to somethings.

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  6. When they described the traffic jam as a ‘horror journey’, drivers were definately over exxaggerating with the situation and it demonstrates how our society relies too much on technology. We have to acknowlege the effort the traffic controllers and city link have done because things like this dont happen very often and they have done a pretty good job making sure the tunnels were re-opened again. I got this quote from news.com.au explaining a drivers opinion about the traffic jam and to support my argument because people were just exxagerating!

    “The traffic’s absolutely killed me, it makes my blood boil.”

    This comment made by a driver during the traffic jam is obviously over exxagerating.

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  7. agreeing with everyone here it really is a case of living in luxury for almost your whole life. obviously there are those who can appreciate what they have and have patience but when it comes to those with no patience that’s when things are blown way out of proportion. the described the jam as a “Horror journey”. a traffic jam is in no way a horror journey. unless the jam was caused by a pack of zombies that are going around attacking everyone, the situation was overly-dramatized and the media made way to big of a deal out of it. everyone has computer malfunctions. technology is not perfect and agreeing to what Lin said, we do rely on technology way too much

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  8. It was just over exaggerating, it can be very common in our daily life’s as many people do exaggerate for small or silly events. Getting stuck in traffic is horrible and very frustrating, just having to spend hours and hours to get to your destination. As years go by the Technology advances, we get to rely on technology so much now, when you type up your school essay you rely on Microsoft Word to save and correct you’re spelling. If that file went missing there goes your essay. The media now dramatises every event that happens, they just make a huge deal out of it, like this traffic jam in Melbourne. A “Horror journey” good title, but was it really that horrific?

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  9. waiting for two hours in a traffic jam is painful and energy draining but we all have to do it from time to time. So we should just sit there and pass time by listening to the radio instead of beeping the horn and shouting omg. we rely on technology so when an error occurs we are impatient and it is not needed. the media over exagerate on stuff like this and that makes tempers flare.

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  10. I think that people do use dramatic language in some situations but most of the time what they mean by what they say isn’t as dramatic. Saying the the traffic last Wednesday was horrific doesn’t necessarily mean it was a horror, in today’s terms it would just mean that it was bad for people. The way people speak has changed so much because we know more we aren’t scared of as many things like the world ending because we know that will not happen and if there was a natural disaster we know how to deal with it. It is just a language change that has happened over the years because people get less scared of disasters so things like bad traffic are disasters for people. The media sometimes go a bit overboard with the words they use because they want people to read or watch their story.

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    • Words do change their meaning according to how people use the words over time Bailey. Words can even come to mean the opposite. For example, in the 13th century if someone said you were a “nice” person they would be insulting you. “Nice” meant you didn’t know much. Today we are happy is someone thinks we are “nice”. Also you are right that in Australia we tend to feel like we are sheltered from natural disasters, or at least we can handle them when they happen.

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  11. A lot of the time things are really over dramatised, sure the road was blocked off and people were late for something, but calling it a horror is a bit of an overstatement, the title went over the top more than likely to get more readers in, or to rile people up over the issue. The situation being dramatic is something else overstated by people, it’s not as if it wasn’t annoying to the people stick there, but being dramatic isn’t really a good way to even say it, the people may have been implying “Drama” however, as it seemed like a bit of a chaotic turn of events for them.

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    • Do you think that the media uses “over the top” titles to “get more readers in” as standard practice Kyle? If so, how should we respond when we read headlines that seem sensational? Is there need for caution on our part?

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  12. I think the tunnels getting closed and being deemed ‘road horror’ was a bit of an overreaction. Yes, the roads closed and you would have been maybe a bit later to work and your kids may complain, but it’s not the end of the world. The sun still rises and sets and life goes on. Using the phrase ‘Oh My God’ is tossed around too much for every situation. When someone trips over they say it. When someone sees a car crash they say it. Is it being over used? Is it used in every situation no matter how seriously bad the situation is? I think the media could have exaggerated because it gets everyone switched onto the news when it has the words ‘horror’ and other horrific words that make people think something really bad happen.

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  13. The use and reliance of technology these days are the problem having no backup plan if something does go wrong is a major threat to people, there is only a certain amount of the technology that can be counted on. Being stuck in the traffic is a bad thing but classifying it “horrific journey” is over exaggerating it. To me “horrific journey” would have to be worse like sitting in a car with a drunk driver. Yes we do use abbreviations for words these days but that’s because people are lazy and say it around friends so it’s put into their brain not thinking about it.

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  14. I agree most with the above comments, in my opinion it is overly dramatic, the first thought that comes into your head when you see the headline ‘horror journey’ is definitely not something as minor as a traffic jam! Yes it would be annoying and all but a bit overdramatic i must say. I think this society does over use dramatic language for little things that the language is uncalled for, but for different people dramatic langue is just the way that they talk, or the way they see different situations effect the way that it comes out.

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  15. I agree with everyone else, we rely too much on technology and that it is a big part in everyone’s daily routine, we use it everyday and depend on technology to get us through with the day, and when it fails on us we would tend to exaggerate. Such as this situation with the traffic jam, people were over exaggerating at the fact that the technology had failed and realize that we really do rely on technology too much.

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  16. I agree with everyone else’s opinions, people use these words to get people’s attention on something that is so small. If people didn’t rely on technology so much, then this wouldn’t be a problem! We use it every day and expect it to work all the time but when something goes wrong, people act as if it is literally the end of the world when really, it’s not even close. Yes, people are a little late to work but it’s only one day, I’m sure we have all had our late days because of traffic, it really isn’t the end of the world and people need to understand that.

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  17. Well it would be really annoying to be stuck in traffic for a long amount of time. You would just get very frustrated and annoyed and seen to use certain words just to describe how we are feeling. Yes some bad words come out but then you have to put yourself in there position also.

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  18. I agree with people above, humans rely too much on technology. Every day routines include a lot of technology for most just about everybody, yes technology makes things easier, but you get less adventure out of life, but there becomes a time where you need to put yourself in their shoes, if you were stuck in traffic for a various amount of time and missing out on something important or being late, you would be upset and frustrated as well.

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  19. I think that dramatic language is used too much and like everyone above, we do rely on technology way too much. Just about everything you do these days is related to technology some how, and as we know, it is not always reliable.

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  20. I think it was dramatized way too much considering it was only traffic. Although it was very annoying there were much more serious things going on in the world but it was just made to be that much worse because of the language that was used during the incident.

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  21. Yes, it does claim to be a ‘horror journey’ from the news. But the thing is; we rely on technology too much in our lives. There was obviously a fault with the Domain Tunnel and the Burnley Tunnel which couldn’t be fixed properly – or quickly might I add. Thus leaving fellow drivers remaining at a standstill who were on the Citylink roads, due to a traffic ‘nightmare’ on Wednesday. The way they have placed the words for the article does actually draw your eyes to the text, which is a very clever tactic in the news industry. But these days many of us do make things fairly over dramatic, it does draw your attention either verbally or through text.

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  22. I think that this is really over exaggerated in the first paragraph. I mean been stuck in a traffic jam is bad but a lot of people do it during their lives but calling it something like “Horror Journey” is being to over the top. The average person doesn’t use language like this. Although this can be very serious from time to time but being stuck in traffic for two hours doesn’t mean to think that a Tsunami has happened or earthquake destroyed the city. Obviously this guy watches to much movies. Just pass the time and find out something if you can.

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  23. The language used by the Australian media to describe what is nothing more than a really bad traffic jam is exaggerated but expected from today’s mainstream Australian media. They always seem to use overly emotive language to describe what often minor events are compared to natural disasters like earthquakes. Sure, there was clearly a problem with the traffic system or otherwise it would just have been another busy day of traffic on Citylink but it was or wouldn’t have been anything as bad as they’ve described it as. It’s not as if anyone had died or as if thousands of people were left without homes or any hope for the future. So I think that will this has been over-dramatized, it will continue to be described like that by the mainstream media to grab people’s attention and give their viewers a right to complain to the governments and companies and give the people another reason to complain about the life they live in.

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  24. I think it was dramatized way too much considering it was only traffic. Although it was very annoying there were much more serious things going on in the world but it was just made to be that much worse because of the language that was used during the incident. Its not like it is the end of the world.

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  25. i agree with everyone else wedo rely on technology these days, people went abit over board but people being late to work can really cost them, they could be late to important meetings, being late to work isn’t a good thing. but as people said ove people did over exaggerate.

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  26. I think it was too much dramatized. It wasn’t like anyone was hurt or died in a incident. People do rely on technology too much. The media over exaggerate these kinds of incidents too much and the use of technology in everyday is changings us: the way we talk and think about things, such as this incident.

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  27. The media today is severly dramatized and i think that the cause of this is technology in which we rely on it heavily. We hear crazy stories that don’t seem that significant. The traffic jam in the Burnley Tunnel is something that happens often and i don’t get why it is so much more important then the recent times. Technology plays a part in this because it is easier for a simple story to get changed around and seem like something so crazy.

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  28. I think it was blow out of proportion way too much considering it was only traffic , like come on , really?. Although it was very annoying there were much more serious things going on in the world but it was just made to be that much worse because of the language that was used during the incident. Harsh language is used in the everyday life. Its not the end of the world , they should really grow up.

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  29. This was defiantly a big exaggeration and was given an outrageous name for something so little. Even things like this shouldn’t have been on the news or become viral because there are honestly worse things in the world going on, and this was decided to be aired as such a disaster. Things have changed on the way we look at things from the way they would be looked at in the older ages.

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  30. I think that the problem was over exaggerated because it was only an accident because of technology and it wasn’t like someone died. But I would say it would be a bit of a big problem because it got people to wait in the car for hours and so they missed meetings and were late for work but it wasn’t that big of a problem to exaggerate over. I also think the newspaper took the situation a bit too far because it wasn’t really anything that bad. Yes I think we do sometimes over exaggerate the little things in life, like fashion, hair or something like that.

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  31. Describing the event as a “horror journey” was a little over exaggerating, especially for a traffic jam. Although when you put yourself in the shoes of those who were stuck in that traffic jam, you wouldn’t really be able to cope in that sort of thing and start making over exaggerating comments but really something like this shouldn’t have become so viral.

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  32. i think most people these days do over exaggurate these days by saying OMG to really unneeded things but i guess it is just a habit of our generation and we grew up talking like that so its normal for us to over exaggurate terms such as OMG

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  33. I completely agree. Using dramatic language in everyday situations could unknowingly place a traffic jam in the same category as a murder or bank robbery. I truly believe that this gives us a distorted idea of what is truly terrible and what is just a minor annoyance.

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  34. I think that dramatic language is used too much and like everyone above, we do rely on technology way too much. Just about everything you do these days is related to technology some how, and as we know, it is not always reliable.

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