"Drowned Alive"

Michael McKernan mckernan at LOCALNET.COM
Tue Aug 23 01:11:49 UTC 2005

John Baker wrote:

>        The odd thing is that drowning, like other kinds of suffocation,
>need not necessarily result in death.... (Of course, many people do
>use "drowning" to refer only to drowning incidents that result in
>        So "drowned alive" is not necessarily an oxymoron.
>Nevertheless, while it is possible to survive being drowned alive, just
>as it is possible to survive being buried alive, I daresay that almost
>all of those drowned alive were in fact drowned to death.

It's also interesting to note that a dead person cannot (technically)
drown:  you have to be alive, in order to breathe in the water or other
fluid which causes drowning. Bodies immersed in fluid post mortem do not
'drown.'  So one can't possible be 'drowned dead.'

In light of this, perhaps it is reasonable to consider 'drowned alive' as
approaching tautology rather than oxymoron.

Michael McKernan

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