Monday, November 13, 2006


A Sydney Morning Herald piece on comments about Private Jake Kovco (the first Australian soldier to die in Iraq) caught my eye for its remarkable circumlocution:

The family of Private Jake Kovco, who was shot dead in his Iraq barracks, say they are wounded and angered by criticism over his name being included on Australia's War Memorial honour roll.


Pte Kovco died after being shot in the head with his own handgun on April 21 while stationed in Iraq.

(Emphasis added)

While there's some dispute over the circumstances, what is clear is that no-one else shot him. Can't they just be honest and say that he shot himself, whether accidentally or deliberately?


maybe Aus is like nz:
they don't use the S-word on tv/radio/newspapers here either.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/13/2006 04:14:00 PM

Journalists can't use the 'S-word' when reporting on a death unless the coroner has ruled it such. If that hasn't happened, then they can only tread around the circumstances. In NZ news it's usually of the form of "A body has been found and the Police are not seeking anyone else on the matter."

Posted by Bloodrage : 11/13/2006 04:41:00 PM

Sure. But even then their phrasing is highly misleading - it makes it sound like someone else shot him, as opposed to it being a question of whether it accidental or a suicide.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/13/2006 04:48:00 PM

Completely offtopic, but an interesting article on what political blogging means in the US:

Posted by Moz : 11/13/2006 10:39:00 PM


i do agree that the smh phrasing you highlight is bizarre...

Posted by Anonymous : 11/13/2006 10:55:00 PM