Language is a beautiful thing. It lets us express love, joy, happiness. Lately, though, I feel it's being abused.

Yes, politicians, celebrities and businesspeople have long manipulated words to suit their needs, that's a part of life. But I think the city's public figures have been taking it a little too far recently.

After the University of Hong Kong council meeting leak, for example, council member Leonie Ki Man-fung described the actions of the whistleblower as "heartbreaking", synonyms for which include: sad, agonising, traumatic, harrowing, distressing.

Is it heartbreaking that someone leaked the contents of a meeting? No, it's heartbreaking that Syrians are dying - under a deluge of bombs or while being forced to make a perilous journey across the sea in search of safety.

There's nothing heartbreaking about the leaked HKU meeting details. The only thing that's broken? Ki's understanding of words.

She's not alone in her poor choice of words. Our chief executive called the whistleblowing "immoral".

It's unethical perhaps, going against something that was agreed upon beforehand, but is it bad, wicked or depraved? Surely not.

It's immoral to traffic in women and children. It's immoral for a priest to abuse an altar boy. But is someone acting on a belief that some information should be shared worthy of the same adjective?

We all know there is power in emotive words. But when we overuse words of indignation and outrage they lose their strength and meaning, and people will stop listening when it really matters.

It's like the word "awesome". We use it so much, there's nothing really awesome about it anymore at all.