Of course, this alarming phrase would get attention in many places. On a newspaper, it is an everyday expression.
We are not any more bloodthirsty than other people. We have our share of hunters and anglers, as well as people who take in injured birds to nurse back to health.
"Kill" is simply one of those terms that has a newspaper use of its own. When we are told to stop an ad, we put a "kill" on it. Kill the ad … stop it from running; kill the story … stop it from running.
Probably someone started to use "kill" instead of "stop" to get another person’s attention. Probably a stop order had been ignored. Perhaps kill got better results.
Or maybe not. Even when someone has filled out a slip from the pad headlined "Kills," an ad may still slip through after the one who placed it wanted it taken out.
And when it does, we can count on an irritated caller the next day. We are glad, sometimes, when the phone call gets rough, that words cannot kill.
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