Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008 | 11:35 a.m.
Las Vegas is a town of happy-talk. But now that the national economy has taken a dive, some negativity has creeped in.
Of course, it's couched. Gaming industry leaders are now saying that Las Vegas can no longer be viewed as "immune" to recession. Rather, it is recession "resistant."
Here's Steve Wynn, for example, in a conference call Wednesday:
Las Vegas is resistant because so much of our business is booked on advance, conventions for example and other things of that sort...But it would be much too sophisticated to think that Las Vegas is somehow a magical island unto itself, immune or isolated from the effects of the cities and the communities that serve it with visitors.
And this, from a Wednesday report from Reuters' Travel and Leisure Summit in Los Angeles:
The Las Vegas gambling industry, while not immune to recession, is "recession resistant," said William Weidner, chief operating officer of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp.
Problem is, the words "resistant" and "immune" mean the same thing, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.
Definition #1 to "resistant" is:
relating to or conferring immunity (to disease or infection) [synonym: immune]
It wouldn't be the first time that a business person has attempted a distinction that don't mean a whole lot, as anyone who has ever been to a conference can attest. And in full disclosure, we here at the Sun uttered a similar phrase a few weeks ago when we reported that Las Vegas has an image that is, "if not 'recession-proof', than at least 'recession-resistant'".
We hate to be grammar nerds, but now we have to propose we retire the phrases. Let's get specific.