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The Language of Crime

Last week was a tough one in the US. Although we shouldn’t forget the crimes, some readers asked me to address language issues that came up in the news coverage.

By
Mignon Fogarty,
April 26, 2013
Episode #365

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The Language of Crime

Last week was a tough one in the US because there was so much crime and bad news. We had the Boston Marathon bombings, the subsequent violent manhunt, the ricin mailings, and an explosion at a Texas fertilizer factory.

Although the language issues seem minor compared to the tragedies we watched unfold, there were some interesting things that came up and some readers specifically asked me to address them.

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AP Stylebook: Guiding Reporters Since 1953

First, it’s a great opportunity to talk about the importance and meaning of the words “alleged” and “suspect.”  Dean McGee on Twitter asked me about those kind of words.

As I mentioned in last week’s show about style guides, the AP Stylebook published by the Associated Press is the best style guide for news reporters, and as I expected, the AP Stylebook has great entries on “alleged” and “suspect” and defamation in general.

Next: "Alleged" and "Suspect"

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