Long before dawn

November 16, 2011

Judge upholds eviction of Wall St. protesters

Protesters who had been kicked out in a surprise predawn raid were allowed back 16 hours later but were banned from bringing the tents and sleeping bags that had turned a square-block park near Wall Street into an urban campground the past two months.

Hundreds of police stormed the camp around 1 a.m. and dismantled tents, tarpaulins, outdoor furniture, mattresses and signs, arresting 147 people, including about a dozen who had chained themselves to each other and to trees.

Hi there, just a quick comment on this story.

Are there short nights in New York?

I appreciate that the move by police to evict Occupy Wall St protesters was pre-dawn in the strictest definition of the term, but does 1 a.m. New York time really qualify, when sunrise is around 6:40 a.m.?


Pre-dawn should not have been used in that context.

Common sense dictates that a 1 a.m event shouldn’t be described as pre-dawn. Our own style guide has this to say about the phrase:

If something happened shortly before dawn, pre-dawn may be technically correct, but it is a cliché… Never use it to mean merely that something happened during the night. GBU Editor

Occupy Wall Street protesters fill New York’s Zuccotti Park after being allowed to re-enter November 15, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

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