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  1. #1
    keannu's Avatar
    keannu is offline Key Member
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    accident vs incident

    I've always thought "accident" is something unintended such as "car accident", while "incident" is something intended such as "homocide incident". What do you think?

  2. #2
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    Re: accident vs incident

    I don't think so. While it's true that accident is unintentional, incident refers to a particular happenin. I may or may not happen by chance.

  3. #3
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Quote Originally Posted by viettran View Post
    I don't think so. While it's true that an accident is unintentional, an incident refers to a particular happening. It may or may not happen by chance.
    viettran, please remember to state that you are not a teacher at the beginning of each post.

    Basically, an accident can also be an incident. An incident might refer to an accident.

    The M25 motorway is closed tonight after a serious incident - at 9pm there was an accident involving 23 cars.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Re: accident vs incident

    An 'incident' is more so the event that occurs, while an 'accident' is a very basic description of the event.

    The definition of 'incident' is: An event or occurrence.
    The definition of 'accident' is: An unfortunate incident (or event) that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  5. #5
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Okay, it seems "incident" is a general term, whether it's intentional or unintentional, while "accident" is unitentional. My idea has been wrong.
    So for intentional ones like a homicide completely planned and intended by a killer, can we just say "The homicide was an intentional incident"?

  6. #6
    HanibalII is offline Member
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Okay, it seems "incident" is a general term, whether it's intentional or unintentional, while "accident" is unitentional. My idea has been wrong.
    So for intentional ones like a homicide completely planned and intended by a killer, can we just say "The homicide was an intentional incident"?
    The word homicide itself implies intentional. So with your sentence, it becomes redundant.

    The definition of 'homicide' is: The deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    So for intentional ones like a homicide completely planned and intended by a killer, can we just say "The homicide was an intentional incident"?
    It's not a natural sentence for me. You could say that a killing was intentional, but adding incident doesn't improve things IMO.

  8. #8
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Quote Originally Posted by HanibalII View Post
    The word homicide itself implies intentional. So with your sentence, it becomes redundant.

    The definition of 'homicide' is: The deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder.
    Homicide | Define Homicide at Dictionary.com

    Not in my dictionary. Homicide need not be intentional.

    Criminal homicide takes several forms and includes certain unintentional killings.
    Homicide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  9. #9
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    As far as I know from hours of time wasted watching American crime dramas, the Homicide Unit is called in to deal with almost any death which appears to have been caused by another person. People are not charged with simple "homicide" though.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  10. #10
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Re: accident vs incident

    Exactly. If a dead body is found, the "homicide" unit investigates. That doesn't mean someone will be charged with murder or manslaughter.

    On the other hand, I could by my negligence kill someone with my car and though intent was lacking, I could still be charged with vehicular homicide.

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