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I'm not a doctor, but ...

When the Associated Press moved an article on the death of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones of Ohio, saying that she had “died of an aneurysm,” I knew that had to be wrong.

No one dies of an aneurysm — a bulge or sac in a blood vessel caused when the wall of the vessel has been weakened. No one “suffers an aneurysm,” as CNN said. People can walk around for days or weeks — for all I know, for years — harboring aneurysms, known or unknown, in their bodies.

A person dies when an aneurysm bursts or ruptures, causing a fatal hemorrhage.



Posted by John McIntyre at 2:41 PM | | Comments (4)


Maybe that reporter's career died of bad grammar!!!

Yes, and people don't die of "apparent heart attacks" either. It's the real heart attacks that get you.

And everyone "dies instantly," another oft-used journo-necro-cliché.

"Suffers an aneurysm"? The ridiculousness alone of that phrase makes me want to use it. As in, "Their grammar was so terrible I almost suffered an aneurysm."

People can walk around for days or weeks — for all I know, for years — harboring aneurysms, known or unknown, in their bodies.

Try "for a lifetime". Rates of undetected brain aneurysms being discovered on autopsy run around 3-6%.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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