Loaded Guns Do NOT “Go off”


I care little about the content of this article. It is the headline I object to.

It carries on a tradition of “victim language” in the press.

“The gun went off”
“The gun just fired”

A gun is an object, not a subject, of the verb “to fire.”

Someone fires the gun.

“He pulled the trigger.”
“He fired the gun.”

The closest you could get is to use passive voice:
“The gun was fired.”

But guns do not fire themselves. Ever. Someone, or some thing, has to initiate the process.
Yes, that initiation may be unintentional, but it must be there nevertheless.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s