Is it just in my news market or is there a widespread trend of news writers labeling all kinds of criminals as serial? The most recent example was a story on the morning news talking about a "serial burglar." It struck me as odd because I always viewed burglary, unlike murder, to be more of a career choice, making the serial label unnecessary and redundant.

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I agree completely. It's like calling every White House adviser a "czar" or ending every scandal with "-gate." It's laziness on the part o the writer, picking something up like it's a buzz word and using it inappropriately.
The term is magnified because their is a proliferation of multiple killings theses days. Many are done out of anger or mental instablity. Buy yes, the media is quick to say serial killier. But indeed there are continual cases of serial killers which will effect the writers actions. Comparable to a dance craze or clothing change in the population. To voice a weak analogy. In finality it is merely a reflection of our society. Killing is draws the attention of people like a moth to a flame!
If anyone is interested in what really constitutes "serial" killing, as opposed to incidental or mass murder, there are a number of really good books on the subject. Almost anything by former profiler John Douglas, or by "serial" true-crime writer Ann Rule will give you a terrific insight into the unique psyche of the "serial" killer.

Of course, our little group consists of a large number of "series" CrimeWriters, aka "Serial authors?"

Yes, I agree, a "career choice" is quite different than a compulsion to repeat certain acts due to bahavioural disorders. If one is acting in accordance with one's career, then the label "Serial" is redundant. So I guess a "Serial Author" would be better known as simply an "Author".

The "linguistic laziness" that seems so prevalent in our society hinges largely on the 5-second attention span of Joe Mass. If a quick, ready word like "serial" can somehow grab his fleeting attention, then it will appear in many, many sentences, whether warranted or not.
Not only that, but the "serial killer" label is being used incorrectly much more frequently.
I know a serial dentist!

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