Thursday, February 09, 2006


Homicide bomber? Despite a vicious beating by almost everyone on the web, this term is still breathing. At least by the talking heads on Fox News, who use it instead of the term 'suicide bomber'. I can only wonder if there is anyone out there who can defend it. I cannot.

The term's most important flaw is the fact that it doesn't convey the fact that the bomber was killed in the blast. For another thing, the word 'bomber' generally conveys 'homicide'. It is rare that terrorists blows himself up simply to damage infrastructure. Redundancy aside, a more informative term would be "homicide suicide bomber". Or perhaps a new word. How about omnicide? Are you getting this Fox? Omnicide bomber? Yes, it is a little ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as homicide bomber.

I was surprised that the OED lacks the word 'omnicide'. And yet they have the ridiculously constructed word 'deericide', aka cervicide, aka "deer killing". 'Giganticide', or the act of killing giants, is in there as well. (And yet it lacks 'gnomicide', the killing of gnomes.) Both 'sheep' and 'egg' have the same Latin combining forms, so the OED gives two definitions for 'ovicide': "killing eggs" and "killing sheep". Best to avoid that one. Near the end of the list is 'verbicide', the act of killing a word. That's one I'll probably end up using later. But enough about violence for now.


Blogger A superfluous man said...

Good job, mate.

12:57 PM  

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