Anyone who uses the word “scream” or “screaming” in any context or circumstance, I regard askance. As in “he was screaming at me” or “screaming at the flight attendant” or whatever. Because people, in fact, almost never actually “scream.”

Millions of people get upset and angry about stuff every day, but very few of them scream like baboons or chimps or rhesus monkeys. Babies and little kids scream, of course, but adolescents, teens and adults merely get loud.

Screaming is primal and half-animalistic — it’s what Faye Wray did when King Kong approached or what scream-queens do in horror films. I’ve raised my voice or shouted or snarled or bellowed in heated arguments, sure, but I’ve never screamed at anyone, and I’ve never once claimed that anyone I’ve heard shouting or hollering or howling has screamed. Not once.

Here’s the part that gets me in trouble: I’ve heard the term used over and over, but in my experience it’s more favored among women.

Fair warning: Don’t say the “s” word if you can help it. Try to avoid it altogether. It’s used by people who tend to exaggerate, and it’s better to keep your distance from that sort.