"I'm a real shouter at the screen. What gets me angriest is the misuse of our language on journalistic programmes. The stress is getting so odd. For example, they'll say, 'Today, a 23-year-old man was arrested for murder', and the most important thing about this is that he's 23, not that a man was arrested for murder. As though yesterday they were all 27. I get so *** off halfway through what they're saying that I don't listen to the rest of the sentence."

Michael Aspel
http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/story.jsp?story=524555

So, another one to welcome to the sheep fold.
(Now, about that "journalistic". Where did the standard Bibbacy term "news and current affairs" go?)

Ross Howard
 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10
http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/story.jsp?story=524555 So, another one to welcome to the sheep fold.

"He looks well, despite his recent brush with cancer (he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but it is presently dormant), and ..."
Now there's an interesting find. I thought it was
the Yanks who confused "presently" with "currently".
Michael West
http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/story.jsp?story=524555 So, another one to welcome to the sheep fold.

"He looks well, despite his recent brush with cancer (he has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, but it is presently dormant), and ..." Now there's an interesting find. I thought it was the Yanks who confused "presently" with "currently".

It does mean currently, doesn't it? What it doesn't mean is "shortly/soon/in due course" or am I not keeping up again?

Many Brits use and all would recognise "presently/at present" to mean "currently/at the moment/for the time being".

Ross Howard
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"Ross Howard" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
For example, they'll say, 'Today, a 23-year-old man was arrested for murder',

Not on the British news they won't; that would be unlawful. Until a verdict is returned or the man cleared of the charge, the man's guilt is sub judice, and news organisations must not say anything that implies the man is either guilty or innocent. The usual wording is: "A 23-year-old man was arrested in connection with the death of..." (the word "murder" can only be used once muder has been definitely established as the cause of death).
"He looks well, despite his recent brush with cancer (he ... thought it was the Yanks who confused "presently" with "currently".

It does mean currently, doesn't it? What it doesn't mean is "shortly/soon/in due course" or am I not keeping up again? Many Brits use and all would recognise "presently/at present" to mean "currently/at the moment/for the time being".

It used not to mean that. It used to mean
"soon": "He shall arrive presently." But now
I see the Oxford dictionaries list "currently"
as a second meaning.
I like "momently", but I don't see it much currently.

Apparently the "currently" sense is old, but then
disappeared, and seems to be stealthily reasserting itself. But why?

Usage Note: An original meaning of presently was “at the present time; currently.” That sense is said to have disappeared from the literary language in the 17th century, but it has survived in popular usage and is widely found nowadays in literate speech and writing. Still, there is a lingering prejudice against this use. In the most recent survey the sentence General Walters is . . . presently the United States Ambassador to the United Nations was acceptable to exactly 50 percent of the Usage Panel.

Michael West
Now there's an interesting find. I thought it was the Yanks who confused "presently" with "currently".

It does mean currently, doesn't it? What it doesn't mean is "shortly/soon/in due course" or am I not keeping up again?

No, that's what it does mean, according to the Oxford people. The NODE gives:
presently // adv.

1 soon; after a short time.
2 esp. N.Amer. & Sc. at the present time; now.
Many Brits use and all would recognise "presently/at present" to mean "currently/at the moment/for the time being".

Maybe you're watching too much TV over there.

Michael West
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"He looks well, despite his recent brush with cancer (he ... thought it was the Yanks who confused "presently" with "currently".

It does mean currently, doesn't it? What it doesn't mean is "shortly/soon/in due course" or am I not keeping up again? Many Brits use and all would recognise "presently/at present" to mean "currently/at the moment/for the time being".

Indeed. Spend a day in Magistrates Court sometime and count the number of "My client is presently unemployed but ..."s.

John Dean
Oxford
For example, they'll say, 'Today, a 23-year-old man was arrested for murder',

Not on the British news they won't; that would be unlawful. Until a verdict is returned or the man cleared ... death of..." (the word "murder" can only be used once muder has been definitely established as the cause of death).

Nay, Mr Wilkes. Most recent example in Monday's Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk news/story/0,3604,1223162,00.html "A 48-year-old man was due to appear before Birmingham magistrates today charged with murder."
The word 'murder' is commonly used from the moment the body is found - see an item from the time of Damilola Taylor's death : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk news/story/0,3604,404333,00.html "Teams of officers were sifting through the estate's rubbish chutes yesterday looking for a murder weapon."
Or even
http://www.guardian.co.uk/crime/article/0,2763,406625,00.html "Police today released CCTV footage of 10-year-old Damilola Taylor filmed just an hour before he was murdered."

John Dean
Oxford
"John Dean" (Email Removed) schrieb im Newsbeitrag
Nay, Mr Wilkes. Most recent example in Monday's Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk news/story/0,3604,1223162,00.html "A 48-year-old man was due to appear before Birmingham magistrates today charged with murder."

He was charged with murder; that is an undeniable fact. Whether or not he actually committed murder is sub judice, but not the fact he has been charged with it. So, the Guardian can say the man has been charged with the crime, but not that the man is guilty. In Mr Aspel's example, the man had been arrested but not formally charged, and so the "in connection with..." formula is used.
The word 'murder' is commonly used from the moment the body is found - see an item from the time of Damilola Taylor's death : http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk news/story/0,3604,404333,00.html "Teams of officers were sifting through the estate's rubbish chutes yesterday looking for a murder weapon."
The body had been found days before the article was filed, stabbed and covered in blood, but with no stabbing implement found anywhere near, which was why the police were looking for one. Those facts are enough to establish the cause of death. Note the very careful wording here: "With poor street lighting and few homes, it would have been an ideal place for a group of youths to attack someone." The Guardian is trying to tread the very difficult line between reconstructing the events (because the police are appealing for witnesses, which is one reason for the article to appear) and getting caught up in the complex web of sub judice regulations.

As well as using the "would have been" cop-out, they even avoided mentioning the victim directly. They would have overstepped the line if they'd said, "This must be where Taylor was attacked, perhaps by a group of youths" even if a police officer had made exactly that statement.
If a body is found with a knife sticking out of its back, that's quite clearly murder, barring the most bizarre of accidents. However, if a body is found, say, crushed to death beneath a piece of heavy machinery that had somehow come loose, and then a co-worker was arrested a short time later, the phrase "arrested for the murder of..." must not appear, no matter what the police officers themselves may have said.
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