Cop speak

G S C gscole at ARK.SHIP.EDU
Fri Jul 23 00:30:54 UTC 1999

Suspect that, somewhere, there is a DA, or similar attorney, who
insisted on a precise use of language in police work.  Language as
defined by that attorney, or maybe Black's Law Dictionary.  The outcome
of a case might turn on the checking of the proper box on an incident
information form.

Don't know about today, but, years ago, an MP could -apprehend- a
troublemaker, but never -arrest- the same.  In the civilian world,
assault could refer to both verbal and physical abuse; seem to remember
that MPs could only use the word with reference to a physical action.
There were other precisions, but they've slipped away over the years.
Some MP language is affected by treaties governing the deployment of
U.S. troops in various countries.

George S. Cole   gscole at
Shippensburg University

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