Monday, August 27, 2012

Come On, ABC News, You Can Do Better

A second staffer, a school resource officer, was outside the cafeteria and rushed in to help the teacher subdue the suspect until cops arrived, police said.  link
"Cops"? Really?  ABC News is supposed to be a serious news outlet.  Let's cut down on the use of slang and refer to them as "police" or "law enforcement".

And no, that's not the most important thing I got out of a story in which a student was shot at school by another student, but since I don't really have any commentary to add to that story, I'll just write about something else that jumped out at me.

6 comments:

Happy Elf Mom said...

I think I see what happened. They don't want to use a word twice in a sentence (and if possible, a paragraph). Thus "cops" and "police" in the same sentence. Here you see they have already also used the word "officer." Perhaps "sheriff's department?" But bear in mind they also work under a time crunch.

Darren said...

They're also supposed to be good at this. If journalists can't write well, what *can* they do?

Anonymous said...

At least they didn't write "coppers?!

maxutils said...

until cops responded, POLICE SAID

MikeAT said...

In 14 years on the force, I've been called many things less complementary than the abbreviation for Constable On Patrol. But Darren's point is well made, COP is slang. A professional should not use that in his writing (with certain exceptions).

Apparently it was a police department responding so term "officer" would be proper (similar to the term deputy if a sheriff's officer would be responding).

Anonymous said...

The term 'cop' originated in late 19th century America. City police departments issued copper badges to police officers for purposes of identification. Policemen (as they were then known) and citizens alike began to refer to police as 'coppers,' and the term was soon abbreviated to 'cop.' The term was not originally considered derogatory, but like any term, its use, and the identity of the persons using it often contribute to its meaning in a particular culture. An ABC staffer surely understands that in this context, an abbreviation can be taken as demeaning to a profession such as policing. In any case, the staffer probably agreed with President Barack Obama that in the case of Professor Henry "Skip" Gates, that "the police acted stupidly." And who knows? He or she might have also produced Obama's bizarre follow-up statement, "I could have calibrated my words differently." Hmmm ... whatever that meant, the first statement appears to have signaled the President's nearly instinctive hostility for police officers, and the second was simply a pathetic attempt to cover his expression of contempt by fogging his audience.