An issue is a topic of discussion, debate, or controversy. For example, people may talk about someone having “issues,” which means they have problems that need to be worked out. The word also can be used to refer to something that is being published or distributed. For example, a newspaper might have an issue on its front page about a scandal in town.
Unlike radio talk show hosts who spew venomous rants about their pet issues, writers of articles can put more thought into their words when they write an article about an issue. Nevertheless, it is important for all writers to remember that their audience will be sensitive to the way they word things and their tone.
For example, if you are writing a political article and mentioning the name of a politician who is accused of wrongdoing, it’s best to avoid using the term “issue” in reference to that person. Using this term could cause the reader to believe that you are making derogatory comments about the politician’s personal life. In a similar vein, it is appropriate to use the phrase “personal problems” when talking about someone who has trouble concentrating or seems to have an emotional meltdown.
If you are unsure how to word an issue, try searching online for the term in your particular context. This can help you find the right word that fits your meaning and will read well to your audience. You may also want to consult a dictionary or thesaurus for additional synonyms and antonyms.