somewhat odd headline

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Oct 21 01:47:22 UTC 2011

There are too many conflicting accounts right now. Daily Mail had a
video, purportedly from Al Jazeera, that showed him captured alive,
dragged through to a van; then it showed him dead, apparently shot. The
initial explanation was that the fighters who captured him shot him.
That video has now been removed, although it may still be floating on
other sites. There is still a brief clip there that apparently shows him
alive, captured.

Al Jazeera has a video on its page with the accounts of his death, but
the video is not of his death. They do list multiple conflicting
accounts--the only thing that is clear is that he was alive when first

It is not clear at all if he was killed deliberately or not or even if
he simply expired from the wounds sustained before capture (unlikely,
but possible). One thing that argues against accidental shooting is the
fact that everyone else in the convoy was killed. Most bodyguards were
killed when the convoy was attacked by a French plane and a US drone.
However, a number of bodyguards and at least one minister got away with
Gaddafi and hid in drainage pipes. They were surrounded and captured,
but the most recent report claims that /all/ bodyguards had been killed.
Sounds to me like elimination of potential witnesses (never mind the
legal implications).

So, yes, "Captured, Killed" would have made sense. "Killed, Captured"
does not--except as a possible artifact of hed splicing, following
developing news. Another possibility is that "Captured" was to be struck
out (line through), but someone forgot to do it--but the usual
convention is to leave material that is demonstrably being edited out
/in front/ of the updated/corrected version.


On 10/20/2011 8:37 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
> Contemplating, one can put some logic into the
> headline.  If one tries hard enough.
> If Huffington had written "Gaddafi Captured,
> Killed", it might have been seen as an atrocity
> -- a prisoner of war killed in custody.  On the
> other hand, "Gaddafi Killed, Captured" neatly
> gives the suggestion that he was killed
> (accidentally, it has been claimed)* and then (his body was) captured.
> * I have heard conflicting reports about whether
> he was unintentionally shot during a fire-fight,
> or captured first and then accidentally shot.
> Joel

The American Dialect Society -

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