Monday, December 27, 2010

Fun with words

"Armed man at Mormon temple killed in Utah shootout"

That's how the title reads, and from what little information there is in the story, it sounds like a good shoot by the police. The problem here is the use of the word "shootout."

Let's consult Dictionary.com:
shoot-out
[shoot-out]
–noun
1. a gunfight that must end in defeat for one side or the other, as between gunfighters in the Old West, criminal groups, or law-enforcement officers and criminals.

Discarding the rest about military skirmishes, hockey, and soccer, I note the requisite word "gunfight." Let's look at that:
gun-fight
[guhn-fahyt]
–noun
a battle between two or more people or groups armed with guns, esp. a confrontation between two gunfighters using revolvers in the frontier days of the American West.

So there has to be more than one person, and the parties involved battle with one another using arms of some sort, especially revolvers, and there has to be defeat by at least one party.

Reading through the story, I find no battle between two or more parties using firearms. Everybody involved were armed, one guy got shot by another guy, so I guess that constitutes defeat, but there was no shootout. I guess "somebody got shot" isn't an exciting enough headline for a worthless article. For your edification, this tragic story is about a real gunfight.

There's not really a lot going on out there in the news world, so I thought I would hammer on some no-name journalist at a small time news page over something petty. Good morning to you too.
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