words used in headlines about HK occupy central movement

By changing the word used, the impression of the news varies a lot. Even using the same word, different objects will alter the meaning of it as is shown in the second case.

Case 1

Chinese central gov’t opposes illegal activities in HK. [China Daily]

Central words : ‘oppose’ and ‘illegal’

Chinese president sends signal against political change in Hong Kong. [New York Times]

Central words: ‘send signal against’

Beijing’s closed door meeting with Hong Kong tycoons erodes trust. [South China Morning Post]

Central words : ‘erode’ and ‘trust’

Case 2

Hong Kong police use teargas and pepper spray to disperse protesters. [The Guardian]

Central word: ‘use’ and ‘disperse’

Hong Kong: Police use tear gas at democracy protest. [BBC]

Central word: ‘use’ and ‘democracy’

Police fire tear gas and baton charge thousands of Occupy Central protesters. [South China Morning Post]

Central word: ‘fire’

HK police used tear-gas to provide safety for all. [China Daily]

Central word: ‘use’ and ‘safety’

Three of four pieces use the word ‘use’, but the association ’use’ varies from the purpose of using tear gas. In the first one, the not strong neutral word ’disperse’ is the function which makes the first ‘use’ quite neutral and less strong. In the second piece, the quite strong and positive word ‘democracy’ appears. Since the tear gas is ‘used’ at ‘democracy’ protesters, ‘use’ become more negative. In the last one, the quite strong and positive word ’safety’ is used which makes ‘use’ much more positive.

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