This just in from the “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” department:

Those who know me well are aware that it drives me up the wall when I see or hear news reports that use the phrases “shot dead” or “shot to death”*
because, last time I checked, it was highly unlikely someone could be shot alive or shot to life.

When I encounter these words I wonder how difficult or time-wasting it would be to just use “shot and killed” or “shot and wounded,” which convey the same information but suit my small, self-centered world and help keep my blood pressure down?

I know, it’s minor – some might even say trivial – but that’s just how I roll.

I was reminded of this again today when I saw the following headline in a local paper:

Chinese police shoot dead tourist bus hijacker

When I read this headline my thoughts were:

1) How could a dead person manage to hijack a tourist bus in the first place?
2) If the hijacker were dead, why would the police even bother shooting him?
3) Is this the start of the inevitable zombie apocalypse?

Another paper, while still managing to piss me off, said it somewhat more accurately:

Chinese police shoot tourist bus hijacker dead

Okay…we’re still dealing with the “is it possible to shoot someone alive?” question, but at least it’s an improvement over the idea of zombie bus hijackings.

Here’s how I’d have written the headline:

Chinese police shoot, kill tourist bus hijacker

See what I did there? I switched one 4-letter word for another and added a single comma. Come on, news writers and editors, is it really that hard?

*Insert appropriate weapon reference: stabbed, poisoned, strangled, bludgeoned with a rabid porcupine, etc.

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