HONG KONG – There are times when the ‘terror’ aspect of terrorism is a good fit even if we cannot prove the act was indeed terrorism.
The linguist in me is always interested in the intersection between language and how it is used. Etymology, the study of words’ origins, is actually what got me into linguistics in the first place and took me pretty far (15 years teaching undergraduates at Carleton University in Ottawa and a partially-finished PhD from U Toronto: note the phrase ‘partially-finished’, i.e. I am NOT a ‘doctor’).
Today’s attack is right up this alley. When we talk about terrorism we cannot help but notice that the root is ‘terror‘ (if you care it comes from the Latin word ‘terrore’, meaning, um, ‘terror, fright, dread’). And indeed there is a lot of ‘terror‘ in ‘terrorism‘. But not all things that instill terror are terrorist acts?
On this day in 2009
We will find out whether the two cases were done by the same person as soon as possible. Right now, we do not rule out any possibilities.Hong Kong police superintendent Leung Ka-ming
No one was ever arrested in this attack and as a consequence no motive was uncovered. Hence, calling it an act of terrorism would be impossible. Still, would YOU want a couple of bottles of acid thrown at you? Not me!
Read More Today in Terrorism
On May 31, 1906 a Spanish anarchist threw a bomb hoping to hit King Alfonso XIII, killing 24 and wounding more than 100.
On May 30, 2009 two pamphlet-bombs exploded outside an Ecuadorian TV station and ministry: no victims or significant damage ensued.
On May 29, 2016 35 civilians were wounded in an ISIS attack using rockets containing chlorine gas in Iraq’s Nineveh Province.