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The Crime That Can't Be Named?

The Miami Herald's web site is led right now by Kathleen McGrory's story about a man who confessed to three "brutal" rapes. So what is a "brutal" rape? Well, Katherine Collins, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department's spokeswoman, didn't waste any time telling the Pulp: He's an anal rapist, she says, which explains a lot when you read the stories about 36-year-old David J. Searcy's alleged crimes.

"Brutal," then is something of a code word here. The Sun-Sentinel, in Brian Haas's story on the Searcy arrest, takes it one step further into law enforcement-ese calling it a "brutal sexual assault."

Now these are both quickie Internet versions of the story, so it will be interesting to see if the newspapers find a way to convey the significant, albeit lurid and wholly impolite, detail to their readers in the morning. I'm guessing we'll see the word "sodomize," an imprecise, but serviceable alternative.

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