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incident

Meaning: terrorist attack, bombing, mass murder, suicide, etc.

For example:

  • The police say an incident at the airport has delayed all flights, but they refuse to give details.

  • Ambulances were seen at the military base, but officials deny an incident has occurred.

Note: Mostly used in statements by the police, state officials or news reporters in order to avoid revealing the true nature of a violent or threatening event. This is an example of how doublespeak is used to censor information and news reports.

Quick Quiz:

Police said "an incident has occurred" in order to

a. avoid saying what happened

b. deny anything had happened

c. tell us exactly what happened

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Contributor: Matt Errey