The omission of a subject who is feeling concerned in that usage is acceptable when an individual uses it in personal speech (“Bobby’s disobedience is concerning”), though it annoyingly assumes that the known universe agrees with the statement (as opposed to the more modest “concerns me”). That usage definitely has no place in straight news reporting, however, because it presents that sense of concern as an established, universally shared emotion, which it may well not be; some people may either not care at all or even think it’s a good thing. Drop out the “who,” and it’s no longer journalism. Google News, unfortunately, is full of such examples, and I, speaking only for myself, find that concerning.

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3 comments on this post.
  1. Lori:

    I think the (mis)use of the word “concerning” is from people confusing it with the word “disconcerting”–a practice that seems to be on the rise, and that I always find a tad annoying.

  2. James:

    I agree with Lori. I believe that the correct usage of “disconcerting” is being replaced by an annoying usage of “concerning,” and it’s all over the media now.

  3. Jo Manning:

    Totally agree. I mentally substitute disconcerting when I hear this misuse.

    Media people are THE worst, the absolute worst!

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