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Use of "passes away"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    For some reason, the weekly I write for uses "passes away" when died or killed should be used.

    In today's edition, there was this headline "Smith passes away after car accident." The lede mentioned that she died.

    I might have used killed in one reference. She died at least two days after the collision.

    I realize this isn't the most important thing and some may say I shouldn't sweat the small stuff, but I'm a big believer in being as good and professional as possible and this falls short of that.
  2. Chi City 81

    Chi City 81 Guest

    So is it your paper's style to say Joe Schmoe is accused of passing away Mary Jane Rottencrotch?
  3. the fop

    the fop Member

    Maybe it's not the most important thing, but I've noticed it creeping in as well. In J school, we were taught "passed away" is for the funeral homes. "Died" is what we should be using.
  4. Platyrhynchos

    Platyrhynchos Active Member

    Use died.

    We even list our obits as "death notices." Not my idea. I like "obituaries."
  5. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    I like the phrase Joe Pesci's (I can't remember the character's name) role in "With Honors" used: Bit it.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    At most papers, "Death notices" and "obituares" are two different things.

    Death notices actually are paid notices detailing the next of kin, funeral arrangements, etc. Obits are simple write-ups on the person who died.
  7. Banning "passed away" always struck me as one of the more random, nonsensical rules of thumb in our business.
  8. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    Should always be died. That's what happened. Passed away is just slang to help people feel better, except in paid obits and even then I get annoyed.
  9. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    Is the ME at your paper trying to be poltically correct, or what he/she views as PC? It doesn't make any sense not to use, "died."
  10. We're writers and we're not allowed to use synonyms? Dumb rule.
  11. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    In the paid death notices, people expire, pass away, go to sleep in Christ, go on to the next life, shuffle loose this mortal coil, take the night train to the big adios, cash in their chips at the Big Casino, whatever.
    In news stories, they die. There's no reason to sugarcoat it, and woe betide any reporter who submits a story to me that says otherwise.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Not in death stories. There's no need.
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