June 27, 2013
OK, OK! That did it! Seems there is a virus permeating The Union newsroom: An alleged virus. Its primary site allegedly lies within the keyboard of Liz Keller and has infected that of a few others on the staff, too, as noted in a brief June 18 traffic stop item having four “allegedly”s.
In Ms. Keller’s accounts of “squatters” and “domestic violence trial,” she (allegedly a she) was able to use allege, or a grammatical counterpart, eight times. Three per is par for her. But, could this be a precursor to a the alleged infection becoming more widespread? However, we really shouldn’t quibble over an inadvertent trademark of The Union as it is certainly no worse than split infinitives.
Just for the sake of some diversity, there are other words that might suffice, as “supposedly,” “suspected,” “presumed,” or maybe just “maybe.” Or “rumored”? But, if someone were “allegedly” arrested for shoplifting, either they were or they weren’t. However, it might be thought that if the writer were that unsure about the details, why write the story at all?
We suspect there exists an effective cure for this alleged virus, something like a grouchy, nit-picking proofreader.
Editor’s note: The use of “allegedly” is necessary in crime reports when a defendant has been accused of a crime, while the act and surrounding circumstances have not yet been established as fact in a court of law.