04 June 2007

alleged until proven guilty?

there seems to be some new shift in the use of allegedly in journalistic reporting, beyond what has already received attention in the past over at Language Log. apparently now to have "allegedly" done something means that the action in question is still under some sort of investigation, regardless of the provability of whether it occurred. take this quote from a report on the UEFA website about this weekend's Euro 2008 qualifying match between Sweden and Denmark that was abandoned by the referee:

German referee Herbert Fandel abandoned the Group F qualifier in the closing stages with the scores level at 3-3. He had awarded a penalty to Sweden and given a red card to Denmark's Christian Poulsen when a spectator came on to the pitch and allegedly assaulted him.
if you don't regularly follow European football (or if you weren't stuck in an airport watching CNN Headline News, which covered the story three times in an hour), i offer you the following clip. perhaps the matter is still under investigation (both by UEFA and police), but i see no "alleged" assault taking place here. it seems more clear-cut than that.

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