Aaron Steinmetz

...be very still...the bird's angry...and I think he can see us.

Blown Free, as Free as the Wind Blows

It comes in different flavors: "blown free" or "blown clear" or "thrown clear." The concept is simple: the body is thrown or blown away from danger, either by an explosion or car accident. The body, propelled through the air, is somehow protected from the very danger that caused the propulsion. 

Dear writers of the world, please, please stop using the phrase "blown clear." You cannot be blown clear. A shockwave powerful enough to lift a grown man will rip limb from body and almost certainly kill the man. 

In fact, a shockwave doesn't have to throw the man through the air to kill him. Place enough shockwave force on the chest and you'll displace the internal organs enough to rip the aorta and cause internal bleeding. The guy will be dead in minutes without so much as being knocked over. 

How much work did it take to strip people of the notion it was safer to drive without a seatbelt because you could be thrown clear of the accident? To make people understand that in an accident you're more likely to be knocked unconscious without a seatbelt on leaving you more likely to drown in a lake than if you had the seatbelt on? Getting trapped by your seatbelt makes for riveting television, and throwing your characters free is an easy way to introduce drama and resolve it quickly, but the cost is telling people it's safer to drive without a seatbelt. We have that effect on our audience, and have a responsibility to, at the bare minimum, not give them bad advice. 

Here's some good advice: if you see a fireman running and shouting "BLEVE!" follow him and try to keep up. A BLEVE (pronounced "blevy") is an acronym for "Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion" and you will not be blown to safety from one of those. You will be killed. 

See? We writers can offer good advice from time to time.