As much as I love reporters using the same terms over and over again, I feel that without any clear definition some of the power of these words may be lost upon the audience. Therefore, I propose official industrial standards for these two terms.
Clearly, in cases where this term is used, the conditions must not be merely and/or obviously dangerous. The situation should initially appear tranquil – perhaps a sunny day with happy rabbits frolicking on the hard shoulder. However, over time, the road-based conspiracy to undermine and betray the driver will become clear. A quiet malevolent laughter will be audible underfoot.
Possible alternatives: dangerous, unsafe, difficult.
A long line of stationary cars is clearly not chaotic; this situation is, in fact, relatively ordered. If the term chaos is used, the following should be expected:
- At least one overturned, burning car;
- Screaming women pulling their hair out;
- Helicopters crashing on the horizon;
- Complete confusion (as opposed to the clear realisation that you should have stayed at home)
[Apologies to anyone that got trapped or had an accident in the snow.]