English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

"Most were convinced that those responsible were of their own, silently waiting for another chance to massacre innocent lives."

Would you say that the above example is acceptable or unacceptable with regard to the verb "massacre" in conjunction with the noun "lives"?

share|improve this question
Massacre def. involves indisriminate killing. One does not kill lives, innocent or otherwise; better to massacre innocents. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 21 '13 at 14:47
So you're advocating the massacre of innocents? – Joel Christophel Apr 21 '13 at 18:36
Exactly. Anything more is redundant. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 24 '13 at 13:20
No, I understand. I was being facetious. – Joel Christophel Apr 24 '13 at 13:27
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Altough, one of the lesser meaning of the word massacre does not imply loss of live: " an act of complete destruction i.e.the author's massacre of traditional federalist presuppositions " (Webster). In this sense you could say "a massacre of innocent lives" in the context of , for example, a serial children rapist, a crooked financial advisor destroying lives in stealing life savings of middle aged persons etc. I agree that it's slightly stretched (or poetic).

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.