Saturday, July 14, 2007

Bark: Dumbing down

I really shouldn't get so annoyed about these things.

What's wrong with this story?

Well, I'll tell you, otherwise we could be here forever waiting for someone to post in the comments. Specifically, it's the headline:
Tank rampage crushes phone masts
That and the link to the video:
Tank on rampage

If you watch the video, the "tank" is a clearly identifiable M113 Armoured Personnel Carrier, or APC. Clearly, NOT A TANK. Tanks and APCs may both be armoured vehicles, but they are very distinct from each other. Tanks are solely designed to blow shit up, whereas an APC is more multipurpose. Its primary role is transporting troops in and out of combat, and its secondary role is blowing shit up. Simply, APCs are not tanks. And that kind of dumbing down, a sweeping generalisation to pigeonhole things together under a label where they don't really belong, well, it annoys me. If you're going to generalise, call it an AFV, or Armoured Fighting Vehicle. A tank may be an AFV, but that does not mean that all AFVs are tanks. So either the journalists are being lazy and just lumping everything with armour and tracks under the label "tank", or they're so ignorant that they don't know the difference to begin with. I'm not sure which is more worrying.

And this isn't limited to the BBC, either. Of all the other news agency links on the story page, only the Jerusalem Post correctly calls the vehicle an APC in its headline. Say what you like about the Israelis, but at least they know their tanks from their APCs...
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