threat THret/ noun noun: threat; plural noun: threats
- 1.a statement of an intention to inflict pain, injury, damage, or other hostile action on someone in retribution for something done or not done."members of her family have received death threats"
- Lawa menace of bodily harm, such as may restrain a person's freedom of action.
- 2.a person or thing likely to cause damage or danger.
"hurricane damage poses a major threat to many coastal communities"
ThreatsSpoken or written words tending to intimidate or menace others.
In other words, there needs to be an actual menace and/or ability to carry out the threat. \but, that's one of the reasons for "get away with murder laws". Normally, if you make a mistake in law, you can still be found guilty, but the "get away with murder laws" allow for your subjective judgement to carry the day.
Even if it is plainly wrong.
For something to be a threat there needs to be actual menace. That is a mere threat that does not cause any harm is generally not actionable. When combined with apparently imminent bodily harm, however, a threat is an assault for which the offender might be subject to civil or criminal liability. In most jurisdictions, a plaintiff can recover damages for the intentional infliction of severe mental or emotional suffering caused by threats or unlawful communications.
So, I am going to (menacing statement here) is a threat.
On the other hand, saying something like "I wish", "I would have liked" implies something other than a threat. It is more like a desire or wish.
Does that make sense to you, or do I need to dumb it down further?
I should add that wishing don't necessarily make it so, or I would make the world a much better place.