Maryland Man Dies During Road Race; Saved By Bystanders

Thu Nov 10 17:03:37 UTC 2011

        That's the title of an ABC News article, which I saw at  The initial paragraphs of the story show that this somewhat unusual use of "dies" was not just a quirk of the headline editor:

<<Only three weeks ago Bob Pohl ran the Baltimore half-marathon alongside his son and thousands of others. But he doesn't remember the event, because he suffered a heart attack 200 feet from the finish line, collapsing among the sea of runners.

Racers stopped to hold his head and check his pulse. The medical tent just happened to be mere yards away from where Pohl lay lifeless on the pavement and medical staff tended to him immediately.

Pohl woke up two days after the race in the intensive care unit, wearing a hospital gown and tubes that connected with machines. He is the first to note how lucky he was to be surrounded by so many knowledgeable people who reacted so quickly.>>

        I've heard words such as "drowned" to refer to a reversible condition, but I always understood that someone who "dies" or is "lifeless" has suffered an irremediable alteration, absent divine intervention.

John Baker

The American Dialect Society -

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