Friday, April 17, 2009

Slightly pregnant, sort of dead

Hey, all you S&W-bashers* out there: Don't throw out your copies of the Little Book just yet! Send 'em off to, which still seems to be having just a bit of trouble, headline-wise, telling the difference between "omit needless words" and "omit words."

Yes, Virginia, there is a difference between an "assassination" and an "assassination attempt." It's sort of like the difference between "murder" and "attempted murder": see, in one case, the attempt succeeds, and in the other, it doesn't. And if the victim is conscious and talking after surgery, that decision is pretty clear.

What it would take to remove the hedge "possible," I don't know. Perhaps the assailants who hosed the minivan down with automatic rifles were just trying to knock flyspecks off the finish. If there's some concern about that (or, realistically, some other shade of doubt that news practice simply can't eliminate), you could simply stick to the events and let readers' lurid little minds draw their own conclusions about motive. But don't imply someone's dead if your answer is "well, not really."

* Anniversary comment upcoming at some point, but not till some stuff gets done.

Labels: ,


Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Oddly enough, I recently read a book in Russian called Kremlin Wife. The plot was simple: a thinly disguised Raisa Gorbacheva hired a Ukrainian policewoman to investigate the disappearance in Moscow of an American psychic who had predicted a "pokushenie" on the Gorbachevs. Since the psychic's New Year's column had contained several dozen predictions, each of which had in fact come true to date, there was some concern.

The amusing thing was that "pokushenie" means "assassination attempt" so the lady was having trouble convincing the KGB that they were going to die. "Just a pokushenie? You'll survive then!" But the English had been "assassination."

Anyway, maybe Fox was trying to hedge against a, you know, regular old drive-by?

7:51 PM, April 17, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:54 PM, April 17, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home