Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shot in the Chest Area and Basically Killed

I may have mentioned that I watch too much television. This is not strictly true; I listen to too much television. To counteract tinnitis (which used to be called tintinnitus but somehow managed to lose a syllable during my lifetime) I sleep with the TV on, often tuned to the Science Channel (which gets noisy -- for some reason they think shows about gigantic cranes are enhanced by relentless heavy metal scores) or Investigation Discovery (slower going but generally less noisy). It is from the latter I am learning, and being reminded, and being rereminded, that Americans can't speak English and policepersons, whether they can speak it or not, are unwilling to do so.

Have I somehow missed some legal reason why "the suspect drove into the garage, got out of the car and tried to run away, so the officer shot him in the chest and killed him" has been replaced by "Upon driving into the garage area, exiting the vehicle and proceeding on foot, the officer shot the suspect in the chest area which basically killed him"? I am not presenting the former as a perfect sentence, but the latter is not only ungrammatical (it says, in fact, that the officer got out of the car, when it is the suspect who did so) but hazy (what is the garage area or the chest area and how do you basically kill someone? Is the left arm, for example, part of the chest area? Is the kitchen part of the garage area, or is the lawn? If you are basically killed, are you more or less dead than if you are complexly killed, or would the opposite be "completely killed"?)

The whole matter is giving me a basic pain in my head area.

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