Dear ABC: use English better

It’s been several years, but now it’s time to complain about the use of certain phrases by ABC News journalists:
– “Quote Unquote” is meant to surround what you’re quoting, not preface it. If you’re just going to preface it and use a different tone of voice, just use “Quote.” If you want to clearly signal the end of a quote, say “Unquote” at that part.
– All crimes happened in the past, and are thus historic. There is no such thing as historic rape. It’s rape. Find another way to communicate “very old”. Vintage rape? Much classier.
– If a court order or law forbids naming someone, then you “mustn’t” name them, not “can’t”. You can, but you’re just unwilling to go to jail for contempt. “can’t be named for legal reasons” is also wrong, but less wrong than “can’t”. I hope you’re not trying to avoid sounding like characters in Harry Potter and “He who mustn’t be named”
– Vehicle crashes are not best described as accidents. As reporters you don’t generally know at the time of reporting the intent of drivers, so it could well not be an accident. Try crash, collision, or even the bland “incident”.

And on another matter, could your staff stop editorializing misfortune? “The driver reversed and tragically didn’t see the three year old, who sadly died as a result” ought to be reported as “The driver reversed and didn’t see the three year old, who died as a result”

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