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A new phrase that needs to be immediately banned

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by BillyT, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    From a hometown daily:

    Police Lt. Jeffrey Nixon said the department is conducting a forensic and mechanical investigations on a “vehicle of interest.”

    No. No "vehicle of interest." No "person of interest." No.
  2. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Yeah...and when I test-drove a Benz, it was a vehicle of interest. But my bank wasn't interested.
  3. But I'm sure it would have charged you plenty ... (of interest).
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    I like "perp car" better.
  5. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    "person of interest" is a legal term. I don't have a problem with it. In fact, if this is the word the cops are using to describe someone, I'm gonna stick with that term, instead of making up my own. I don't fuck with legal language.
  6. I get what you're saying, but not really. "Murder" is a legal term. I don't use the word murder to describe a killing until a jury calls it murder.

    "Person of interest" is cop jargon, much like "fled on foot." If you can find a better way to describe "vehicle of interest" do it, though sometimes you're stuck.

    In this case, it would be nice to know what the whole story says so we could know why the police are interested in it. If it matches the description of a vehicle that was used in a driveby shooting, I'd much rather see that in the story than "vehicle of interest."

    Same with person of interest. Of course, you're not going to call him a suspect if he's not a suspect, but it's always better to try and determine why the cops are looking for him (ie, for questioning, he matches a description) than using copspeak.

    Hope that makes sense.
  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Yeah, I get it. But I tend to tread very carefully on the few occasions I need to do stories like this. I'd rather be precise than screw it up, ya know?
  8. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    It's what the cops use. It doesn't need banned. It's the half-way step between calling someone a suspect and saying they aren't.

    Shit, by this standard, how about we ban the term "squeeze play" in baseball, the "Hail Mary" in football, and the "backdoor cut" from basketball stories? All of that is jargon by the same technicality.
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