ASK MISTER LANGUAGE PERSON
Q. Dear Mr Language Person,
Imagine my surprise at opening up Google News this morning and seeing the following headline: "Guard fatally shoots man with sword at Scientology church" (Los Angeles Times).
My language question is: can a guard fatally shoot someone with a sword? I thought one could only shoot a sword to wound. Or would the fact it happened at a Scientology church have an impact on the conjugation of the pronoun?
Randy Hagan, Yorktown, VA
A. It was probably an assault sword.