Whether you call it a sinkhole, a void, a cavern or the blue-light special, the hole that opened in Highway 92 last week is a nightmare for Coastsiders. So, perhaps it doesn’t matter what you call it.

But it’s interesting to think about who benefits from calling it a sinkhole instead of what those who know sinkholes call it. It turns out geologists chuckle at the notion of sinkholes in most of California. They will tell you that hole that has upended life on the coast isn’t the result of an act of God but rather the inaction of man.

Clay Lambert is the editorial director for Coastside News Group. After years working at regional daily newspapers, he began as editor of the Half Moon Bay Review in 2004.

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