Mopping up…

Indian commandos mop up last of Mumbai militants

“Mop Up” is a disgusting headline. Regardless of what has been done this is human you are talking, about not floor grime. Leave the repugnant demeaning of human life to asinine editorialists please.


Several readers objected to this headline, though I don’t fully understand why. My online dictionary says MOP UP: Military. to clear (ground, trenches, towns, etc.) of scattered or remaining enemy combatants after attacking forces have conquered the area. GBU Editor.

The Taj Mahal hotel is seen engulfed in smoke during a gun battle in Mumbai November 29, 2008. REUTERS/Arko Datta

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What about the word “militant” being used to describe these individuals. If these are not terrorists, what are?

Posted by Earl | Report as abusive

But the point is the military tends to use sanitized language to conceal the human cost of their actions, and I don’t think journalists should allow them to get away with that by adopting the language. Like “pacify”, which was used to generally mean something along the lines of “kill everyone resisting by any means possible”. Same with “mop up,” “collateral damage,” etc. Let’s call killing killing.

Posted by Aziz | Report as abusive

online dictionary…

Posted by online dictionary | Report as abusive