A few nights ago a man was stabbed on a suburban street. He walked several blocks to a police station, from where he was taken to hospital in a survivable condition. The news report I saw interviewed a random man from that suburb, who was not even an eyewitness.  The reporter asked ‘Are you surprised there was a stabbing here?’. He said ‘Yeah. Usually it’s over there’ (pointing to the other side of the road).

The implied comparison of the question is ‘… as opposed to there not being a stabbing here?’, not ‘… as opposed to there being a stabbing over there?’. If there are usually stabbings over there, then a stabbing here cannot be especially surprising.

The man was obviously taking the mickey. Did the reporter and editor realise that but include the interview anyway, or didn’t they realise it? I would have thought news reporters and editors could recognise mickey being taken when they saw it.


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