"State highway officials around the country want the government to stop scaring the public by using dire-sounding phrases such as "structurally deficient" and "fracture critical" to describe bridges in need of repairs."
Perhaps they forgot a bridge fell down. This occurred in part because there was *not* enough attention to bridges. Perhaps scarier terms are useful here. Certainly the real problems should rank worse than the non-problems, but the previous problem of under-investment has not suddenly disappeared. As the average age of bridges increases, the likelihood of collapse also increases in the absence of rehabilitation.
Modeling themselves on car dealers ""Car dealers no longer have 'used' cars. They instead switched to 'previously owned.' Can't we similarly come up with nomenclature that is less of an issue?" Minnesota said in its response." is hardly reassuring. People hardly hold car dealers in high regard.