The Phrase "Fatally Beaten".

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Henry Madojemu

New Member
Esan
Hello everyone,
I and my friends are currently arguing over a particular phrase used in a headline by a certain blog in my country. It reads "Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was 'fatally beaten'.

I am of the opinion that the phrase "fatally beaten" should mean that the beating was so severe that it has caused death. What do you guys think?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Hi, Henry - welcome to WRF.
    You have started well! :)
    "fatally beaten" should mean that the beating was so severe that it has caused death.
    "fatally beaten" = beaten to death -> killed. It is hard to escape when you're dead... :D
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was 'fatally beaten'.
    I think the writer is using as to mean "he was in the process of being fatally beaten" when he escaped. He escaped while they were beating him, but before they had killed him.

    The writer is probably very good at English, but not a native speaker. A native speaker would add "being", and all of us would understand the meaning (he escaped a beating which would have been fatal, if the beating continued):

    Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was being 'fatally beaten'.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think the writer is using as to mean "he was in the process of being fatally beaten" when he escaped. He escaped while they were beating him, but before they had killed him.

    The writer is probably very good at English, but not a native speaker. A native speaker would add "being", and all of us would understand the meaning (he escaped a beating which would have been fatal, if the beating continued):

    Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was being 'fatally beaten'.
    :confused:
    While I would understand the intended meaning, that makes as much (i.e., no) sense to me as
    Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was being murdered.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Ruggedman escapes being killed in London by Naira Marley's gang as he was being 'fatally beaten'.
    How would he know if he were being fatally beaten unless he died?

    It would need rewriting:
    In London, Ruggedman escapes from Naira Marley's gang during an attempt on his life.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    English is the official language of Nigeria.:) I gather that these days most Nigerians' first language is English, but I need Henry to confirm that.
    It depends on how you want to define English. I didn't live in Nigeria but I lived in another African country whose only official language was English, but most people's first language was still their tribal language. And the English that was spoken existed on a very large continuum - from near indecipherable (on first hearing) to near standard. But even the most important government ministers spoke a clearly localized version of English, using grammar and vocabulary a native AE or BE speaker would not be familiar with.

    I would call it a mistake in AE or BE.
     

    Henry Madojemu

    New Member
    Esan
    English is the official language of Nigeria.:) I gather that these days most Nigerians' first language is English, but I need Henry to confirm that.

    English is our official language, but only few Nigerians have it as their first language - which I know they regret. Those who cannot speak their local dialects either communicate in English or Pidgin English.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    "Fatally beaten" is a process. It is only fatal if the process completes. It is not fatal if interrupted:

    "He was saved from a fatal beating."
    "He escaped a fatal beating."

    I can write many sentences that use the phrase "fatal being" correctly, but no-one dies in the sentence.

    How would he know if he were being fatally beaten unless he died?
    It does not say "he knew". The author knew. Or the author claimed.
     
    Last edited:

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I see it as incompetence of the headline writer of this Nigerian-authored post. (Note that authors do not necessarily write the headlines)
    I would not waste time trying to analyze it in terms of good English.
     
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