Sunday, April 29, 2007

Today's Palspeak/Reuters word: "siege"

In standard English, the word "siege" means:
the act or process of surrounding and attacking a fortified place in such a way as to isolate it from help and supplies, for the purpose of lessening the resistance of the defenders and thereby making capture possible.
But in PalArabia, the word takes on a different meaning:
“There is a possibility of the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people, it will come gradually,” Abbas said in Cairo on Saturday. “We didn’t feel that there are problems with the European countries, either in terms of the lifting of the financial siege or the political siege.”
That article, from the Daily Times in Pakistan, correctly puts "siege" in scare quotes and refers to the sanctions as an "embargo."

But look how Reuters captions this picture:

A Palestinian woman attends a rally against the siege in Gaza April 29, 2007. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

As soon as Mahmoud Abbas open his mouth, the Reuters editors scramble to update their stylebook to stay in sync. And in this case, they are more biased than the newspapers in Pakistan!