Precision

From the ESPN Bottom Line™®©Ω:

“Steward withdrew from Sunday’s NASCARE Sprint Cup race after his car[,having been inhabited by the spirit of the devil, acting in accordance with his malevolent will, and paying no heed to the desperate attempts of its righteous, god-fearing driver to prevent a tragic occurrence of tragedy,]   struck and killed 20-year-old driver Kevin Ward Jr., who was on foot, during a dirt track race Saturday night.”

[implied]

And that’s why you don’t use the passive voice, kids. Except you have to if you’re reporting on an ongoing legal issue, in which case the principle of presumption of innocence means you have to make a murderous car the actor instead of the popular driver, who coincidentally is a popular draw when your network airs car races.

Then you have to commit awful crimes against English to make sure the driver doesn’t sue you and his fans don’t send you angry tweets. I suppose that’s a reasonable price to pay for a theoretically fair justice system (let’s not go there). But it sure makes me twitch when I watch TV.

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