We are given an insight into the thought process of a staff reporter while she writes about the deaths in Cumbria.
Yes, twelve dead is twelve too many, twelve deaths is a terrible intrusion into the quiet rolling fields, streams and villages of this once peaceful corner of England, but massacre it is not!
Even the fifty-two dead of the 7th July bombings doesn’t really qualify for that emotive title, as the perpetrators hoped for a great many more, and had to settle for fifty-two, plus of course their own miserable lives.
Do the rifle and shotgun blasts which heralded the crazed methodical slaughter of twelve human beings, most of whom probably did not even know that Derrick Bird existed, never mind that he was angry enough to kill, signal a massacre?
The hyperbole which is routinely trotted out when random savagery explodes across our screen and pages does a great disservice to the journalistic code by which all are supposed to abide.
No, Elizabeth, the names of Whitehaven, Boot and Seascale should not be scribed within the annals of true massacres, because massacre means planning; massacre means cold calculation, massacre is spelled out in names such as Oradour-Sur-Glanes,