By Nicholas Stix
The AP headline follows:
Jul 26, 5:05 AM EDT
FRENCH OFFICIAL: ASSAILANTS TAKE HOSTAGES IN CHURCH NEAR NORMANDY CITY OF ROUEN
The AP story follows:
PARIS (AP) -- French official: Assailants take hostages in church near Normandy city of Rouen.
Your eyes did not betray you, nor did I. The Associated Press ran a 15-word-long story that consists of a headline written twice. The AP is desperate not to inform the readers about the ongoing crisis, and so it repeats itself, and uses euphemism, rather than clear English. When do you hear of “assailants” taking hostages? You hear of bank robbers, or shooters, or hijackers, or terrorists taking hostages, but never “assailants.” Never, that is, until now.
An assailant is someone who attacked someone, in some way. But the story says nothing about what they did before taking hostages. Maybe, to be completely circular, the story should have said, “hostage-takers take hostages”?
It’s really important, don’t you know, not to profile hostage-takers.
Jul 26, 5:17 AM EDT
PARIS (AP) -- French official: Police kill 2 attackers who took hostages in Normandy church; motive unclear.
N.S.: The “motive” is officially “unclear,” but we can be sure that it had nothing to do with Islam.