English translation: 17 teen age girl - 18, 19 young women
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English to English translations [PRO] Social Sciences - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / age groups
English term or phrase:teenage girl vs. young woman
Although for a number of years I was a BBC employee - albeit in a past era when that erstwhile body took pride in its use of its and my native language - I am errr... disconcerted, let's say, by the following report on the BBC News website:
A teenage girl and two young women have been injured in a shooting in west London, Scotland Yard has said.
The victims, aged 17, 18 and 19, were taken to a central London hospital after the incident ...
When I was at school, anyone in the age range thirteen to nineteen was a 'teenager'; 'womanhood' was reserved for 'adults'.
Can anyone here enlighten me as regards the distinction the BBC makes between one of these three victims who is classified as 'a teenager' and the other two who are 'young women'?
It has occurred to me already that the age of criminal responsibility might have something to do with it - but the text refers to the victims, not the person whose finger was on the trigger.
Since these girls were victims and not the perpetrators, in my mind, 'teenagers' or 'teenage girls' sounds far more emotive than 'young women', which somehow also sounds rather demure (which is no doubt beside the point!). Conversely, if the girls had been the aggressors, 'teenagers' would have carried connotations of teenage violence and thugs
fresh off the press! The oldest girl (who was clutching her baby" has again been referred to as "the teenager" on Radio 4.
I'm rather comforted to hear that a teenager is still a teenager (or whatever) regardless and that there seems to be no strict rule. Whether the original term - with its implication - was intentional or not will probably never be known. But you could always raise it with the BBC... They might even interview you!
Thank you Ladies (I choose my words carefully ... I hope!) for these updates. They give interesting insight into how news perspectives change and stories can be nuanced/slanted/(call it what you will) to give more or less sympathetic treatment of people in the news.
There's a related story, where it turns out that one of the victims is a mother with babe in arms when she was shot: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-15124784
I imagine that in the next 24 hours this parallel report will also evolve - the 'three men on pedal cycles' will turn out to be two youths and a boy and the bikes will become two skate boards and a moped.
Coming back to my original question: my own impression at the time was that the journalist was making that distinction in a way that might be appropriate if the 3 'girls' had been the attacker(s), and that it might be related to the degree of legal responsability based on precise ages. Applying that distinction to the victims seemed to me to be discriminatory, in a manner that's entirely unwarranted in the circumstances; it looks as though the news editors may have shared my view, and have now sought to put all 3 on equal footing.
At 8.20 this morning, "two women and a girl" became "three teenage girls" and "a teenage girl and two young women" became "three young women", one as the headline and the other as a sub-heading. You can follow the changes here http://www.newssniffer.co.uk/articles/439974/diff/4/5