Monday, March 09, 2009

Said to have claimed

Siti, a 7 year old girl fell through a gap in the metal railing near where she lives. Dropped 4 storeys, and miraculously survived, albeit multiple fractures.

Her family said the gap was reported in December to the Bukit Merah Town Council. But the latter last night said it could find no record of the call.
The poor girl's uncle, Mr Muhammad Syukri, 20, currently unemployed was the one who reportedly called the town council three months ago about the broken railing. He claimed he was told someone would be sent to check on it. “I didn’t hear from them, I don’t know if they came or not.”

How come when there is a dispute of whether or not a call was made, the paper chose to state that the BMTC "said" it could find no record of the call but the girl's uncle could only "claimed" that he was told someone would be sent to check on it.

Said - to express in words, to state as an opinion or belief
Claimed - to assert in the face of possible contradiction

When do you normally use "said" and what can make you decide to use "claimed" instead?

Way back in 2005, when Katrina struck New Orleans, a black man was reported to have "looted" food from a grocery store while 2 white people "found" food from a grocery store. (available on boingboing "black people loot, white people find?").

Enough of my nonsense. I hope the girl gets better soon.

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