shot dead

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NickJunior

Senior Member
Khmer
Regarding the term "shot dead" below, should it not be written as shot and killed instead? Please verify. Thanks.
Kurdish rebels shot dead 13 Turkish soldiers on Sunday, the worst such incident in years and likely to put more pressure on the government to authorize a cross-border military strike against Kurdish bases in Iraq.
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Regarding the term "shot dead" below, should it not be written as shot and killed instead? Please verify. Thanks.
    Although Sinagua is correct that the two mean the same thing, I agree with you, NickJunior. I think a news item should use slightly less "slangy" terminology. If I were writing it, I would use "shot and killed".
     

    Cristina Allende

    Senior Member
    US, English
    But if they were "shot and killed," doesn't that leave a little mystery to how they were killed? The could have been shot (but not killed by the bullets) and then killed by stabbing or poison or strangulation or blunt force trauma, etc. etc. The first way, "they were shot dead," makes it clear that the shots actually killed the people. Yes, "shot and killed" is pretty much implied that the bullets actually killed them, but it still leaves an element of doubt, if you want to get technical about it. :)
    Christina
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    But if they were "shot and killed," doesn't that leave a little mystery to how they were killed? The could have been shot (but not killed by the bullets) and then killed by stabbing or poison or strangulation or blunt force trauma, etc. etc. The first way, "they were shot dead," makes it clear that the shots actually killed the people. Yes, "shot and killed" is pretty much implied that the bullets actually killed them, but it still leaves an element of doubt, if you want to get technical about it. :)
    Christina
    I would say "shot to death." English (unlike German, for example) doesn't have a single verb to express the action.
     

    Cristina Allende

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I am pretty good at finding the technical details, so excuse me! :) But "shot to death" also implies that they were shot repeatedly until they died. The words "to death" can imply that there was a substancial space of time between the commencement of the shots and the end of them. Like in the example, "she was raped and strangled to death." The "to death" shows just how brutal the attack was because strangulation involves a great deal of time, as the lungs have to completely collapse due to suffocation. Also, he was beaten to death implies a fair amount of time between the start and end of the beating, finally ending with his death.
    But I do recognize that "shot to death" in this context would also be correct.
     

    camaysar

    Senior Member
    usa
    usa, english
    The accepted journalistic term for being killed as a result of gunshots would seem to be
    "shot and killed" or "shot dead". Agreeing with Dimcl here... "shot and killed" is a bit more respectful than "shot to death" or "shot dead. By the way, when a person is shot but not killed, here in America, the tabloid and local television news expression is often "gunned down"!

    It's true that "beaten to death" is used, but there is a less grim alternative in the case of a shooting with "shot and killed", so why not use it?
     

    Cristina Allende

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I think gunned down can also mean "shot dead" or "shot and killed." It doesn't have to only be shot but not killed. For example, the news often said the phrase "gunned down" in reference to the VA Tech massacre. :(
     

    camaysar

    Senior Member
    usa
    usa, english
    Yes Cristina, it can. I was really referring to a front page and telejournalistic ploy. "So-and-so was gunned down today.... after this." (Go to commercial) The audience wonders, "Oh my! Was he killed?" Audience stays with the show to find out if it was a fatal event! In this situation, the victim usually lives.

    Also, note that not all the Va Tech victims were killed.
     

    tinlizzy

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    This may just be me but I read shot dead and think execution style- one shot, bullet to the brain, dead.

    13 shot and killed, I wonder how many survived.
     

    mouthpiece

    New Member
    United States, English
    Shot dead is crude and slangy while shot and killed is a much nicer way to explain the same situation. Also, shot and killed does not necessarily mean that they were killed by the shooting, it could imply two separate occasions, one in which they were shot and another in which they were killed. Hence the "and".
     

    swift_precision

    Senior Member
    US/English
    If you say "shot and killed" it assumed that the person was killed by the gun shot wound, otherwise it should be explicity stated what actually caused the death. Also unlike terms like "stab to death" or "beaten to death" which do imply multiple stab wounds or blows over a certain time period, "shot to death" is a bit different. I do not agree that it means only that multiple shots were fired "until they died". What I think is that yes, multiple shots were fired at the person, but any one of those shots could have instantly killed the victim or more than one shot could have killed him. In regards to "beaten to death",very few cases exist in which one single blow to a person, inflicted above the waistline region caused instant death. In the case of "stab to death" even one stab to the heart may not cause instant death. This would of course have to be confirmed by an autopsy.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    But if they were "shot and killed," doesn't that leave a little mystery to how they were killed? The could have been shot (but not killed by the bullets) and then killed by stabbing or poison or strangulation or blunt force trauma, etc. etc. The first way, "they were shot dead," makes it clear that the shots actually killed the people. Yes, "shot and killed" is pretty much implied that the bullets actually killed them, but it still leaves an element of doubt, if you want to get technical about it. :)
    Christina
    If we're getting technical, we certainly have to go back to NickJunior's original context:

    Kurdish rebels shot dead 13 Turkish soldiers on Sunday, the worst such incident in years and likely to put more pressure on the government to authorize a cross-border military strike against Kurdish bases in Iraq.


    I fail to see how changing this sentence from "shot dead 13 Turkish soldiers" to "shot and killed 13 Turkish soldiers" could possibly leave an element of doubt as to how they died.
     

    camaysar

    Senior Member
    usa
    usa, english
    In accepted usage, "shot and killed" exactly means "shot dead". If we read "shot and killed" it would be surprising, to say the least, to later find that the cause of death was strangulation.

    That would have to be "shot and then killed by strangulation".
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    This may just be me but I read shot dead and think execution style- one shot, bullet to the brain, dead.

    13 shot and killed, I wonder how many survived.
    No, it's not just you, I share the same point of view :)
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I like it. Shot Dead.

    It's eye-catching, ear-grabbing, short, and to the point.

    Maybe it was space-friendly. Maybe the words themselves mimic the bang-bang punch of the act itself.

    Also, people's attention span has shrunk to all-new proportions. But they have time to read and process those two words.

    I'd say it has to do with space contraints and the writer's belief that dying these days is very often gruesome and unfair, so why pretty it up with nice death words?

    AngelEyes
     

    Cristina Allende

    Senior Member
    US, English
    In accepted usage, "shot and killed" exactly means "shot dead". If we read "shot and killed" it would be surprising, to say the least, to later find that the cause of death was strangulation.

    That would have to be "shot and then killed by strangulation".
    No, it wouldn't have to be "shot and then killed by strangulation." Just like "gunned down," "shot and killed" in a headline could just be a ploy to make people read the entire article. Also, in the context of this sentence, I don't see how torture is so out of the question. They could have experienced debilitating shots and then they could have been detained "for questioning." I'm not saying that any of this is implied from "shot and killed," but yes, it does leave an element of doubt. It's just whether you pick up on it or not.
    You could also say "fatally shot" if you want to get the point across fast and for some reason "shot dead" isn't good enough for context (e.g. you know the victim).
     
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