I’ve sustained enough

In News Reports, Writing on May 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

Why is it that people are never just “hurt” or “injured”? They have to “sustain” minor/major injuries. This sort of police jargon for crime or accident stories really gets my goat! More so when they are repeated in news articles. What happens when the injuries are healed? They stopped sustaining? Or when the injuries kill? They were unsustainable?  At least, I no longer have to read about ambulances which “rushed to the scene”. That was such a huge bugbear for me. Did we really expect the ambulance to cruise to the scene?

Anyway, crime and accident stories always seem loaded with cliches. A pity since so much wonderful language can be used to greater effect. So here’s one I never hope to read….

As Mr X walked to his favorite coffeeshop for breakfast yesterday, little did he know (as if he would!) that he would be a victim of a hit-and-run. The tragedy (isn’t it always?) occurred at 6am along Y Road, eye-witnesses said.  An ambulance rushed to the scene (NOTE: it did NOT cruise) where Mr X laid in a pool of blood (it usually is a pool; puddle has less impact). He sustained severe head injuries (probably his skull was cracked but that doesn’t sound so elegant) was rushed to hospital (again, to denote SPEED). Doctors said he was now fighting for his life (aren’t we all?). Police are investigating. (that last line is obligatory and standard police fare I believe)

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