These days I don’t expect much from the media in the way of precision of language. But it shouldn’t be too much to ask that they know the difference between a tragedy and an atrocity.

Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina, the Japanese tsunami and the West, Tex., explosion are tragedies.

The Holocaust, the 9/11 attacks, the Connecticut killings and the Boston bombings are atrocities.

Philip M. John, Arlington