Bête Noire

I’m a bit of a stickler for language. One common locution that’s been bothering me, ever since I started noticing it a few years ago, is the habit of news reporters to use the word “after” when they mean “when”. (Now that I’ve pointed it out, you’ll start noticing it too, and you’ll see how common it is.)

Here’s a randomly selected example. The news story begins:

The Hawaii official who verified and released President Barack Obama’s birth certificate has died in a plane crash, authorities said… Fuddy, 65, was the only one killed…

All well and good. But the caption accompanying a photo of the unfortunate Ms. Fuddy says :

Fuddy was killed after a small plane with nine people aboard crashed into the water off the Hawaiian island of Molokai Dec. 11, 2013.

Don’t know why, but this sort of thing really bothers me.

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7 Comments

  1. Whitewall says

    What irks me sometimes is a news report that tells about a missing child or dog or what ever. Usually described as “the child Went missing”. Sounds almost deliberate.

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink
  2. JK says

    Its the wording of National Weather Service alerts irks me.

    Not so long ago the alerts simply communicated;

    “a squall line can be expected to reach [a location] in thirty minutes” or, “doppler radar indicates a possible funnel cloud at [this] location.”

    But now the NWS helpfully adds, “and [some number of] millions [of people] are potentially at risk with this storm.”

    ‘Well heck NWS’ I’m usually muttering to myself, ‘even the census bureau knows there ain’t but 12,245 in the whole danged county.’

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink
  3. Rusty Snail says

    Fair point. However, in this example, if memory serves, Fuddy survived the initial crash. I believe she escaped the plane with the others after impact and coroner ruled cardiac arrest or somesuch as cause of death. So she was killed after the crash, but in this context she was killed by cardiac arrest.

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink
  4. I’m not sure one can arrest cardiac arrest for killing Fuddy. Duddy simply died of cardiac arrest.

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink
  5. antiquarian says

    You’re not telling me that the media don’t think implications through, are you?

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 4:28 pm | Permalink
  6. I get annoyed at news reports of people wounded in accidents.

    Jeffery Hodges

    * * *

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 7:20 pm | Permalink
  7. I get annoyed when an atrocity is referred to as a “tragedy”. Because “religion of peace”.

    Posted September 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm | Permalink