inebriated? is it not drunken?

A PTI (Press Trust of India) news item read in The Hindu begins thus:

Two girls, suspected to have been in an inebriated condition, lost control over their vehicle and rammed into a motorbike, in a high-security area of the city

Read the piece here.

Why would you want to say that the girls are “suspected to have been in an inebriated condition” rather than simply as “drunken”? That was a reckless driving by irresponsible girls. A young man and a child in a motorcycle were hit and both died. And the PTI (Press Trust of India) says the girls are “suspected to have been in an inebriated condition”. Why gloss over? Perhaps because the car “was bearing a VIP registration number belonging to a retired lieutenant colonel of the army”?

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2 thoughts on “inebriated? is it not drunken?

  1. Hi, I differ on your comment.

    Until a case is proved with proper evidence, the PTI will write only like the above. They will be having certain guidelines for writing news items as we do in copyedting. They write these based on the FIRs filed. And whatever is filed in the FIR can be many times misleading unless proved with proper evidence.

    You can refer to many such news items in the The Hindu or other newspapers, where the word ‘alleged’ is used with such incidents even though we may feel that the suspect has committed the crime.

    • That is precisely my point. But I’m afraid I messed it up.
      I am not objecting to the use of “suspected to have been in” but to the use of the phrase “in an inebriated condition” rather than “drunken”.
      Thanks for helping me clean up the mess.

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