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Friday 27 April 2012

AUSTRALIAN CRIME REPORTING v. English as she is spoke

Just a few notes, addressed to The Media:

(1) OK, here's the thing: at some point, the phrase "shot dead" tripped and fell head first into the Media-way, and - instead of driving over it until it was just a grease stain - the media pulled over, picked it up and took it home. "The woman was shot dead" - NO! Gah.

Look, it's not hard: has anyone ever been "stabbed dead", or "drowned dead", or "beaten dead", or "suffocated dead"? NO! Because that implies that the person was ALREADY DEAD, and *then* was shot/stabbed/beaten/suffocated. The phrase you want, Media, is "shot and killed".

(2) This one is far rarer, but it made the mistake of crossing my path soon after an instance of (1): "a man was killed today in Melbourne, after being hit by a train." Now, that right there? THAT is a bad day. First he gets hit by a train, and then later he is killed! That is one unlucky guy.


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