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Fri, 7 Apr 2006

Police-speak migrates

The RISKS Digest is one of my regular reads, and jolly good it normally is too. But vol 24 issue 22 had me foaming at the mouth with anger. It seems that police-speak has infected this august and normally intelligent journal.

Police-speak is that curious language used by police officers when speaking to the press when they talk about how officers "did arrest" people instead of just arresting them, or they talk about "incidents". They clearly do this in an attempt to make themselves sound more important and eloquent than they really are, and to avoid giving real meaningful answers to questions. Police-speak is a dialect of officialese.

Back to RISKS - according to that issue, a plane "ran out of fuel and collided with terrain". In English, we'd say that it "ran out of fuel and crashed". The writer of that piece, who otherwise writes well, should be ashamed.

Posted at 12:47 by David Cantrell
keywords: language
Permalink | 1 Comment

What bothers me about police-speak is that the officers seem to use it parrot fashion while at the same time being unable to string together a coherent grammatical sentence. It does not inspire confidence when so much power over our lives is in the hands of people who appear unintelligent & uneducated!

Posted by grumpyoldwoman on Thu, 27 Mar 2008 at 17:25:25


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