English : difference between assassinate and murder

What is the difference between assassinate and murder?

Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Ghandi, John Kennedy and Julius Caesar were all assassinated. If the same thing had happened to lesser- known mortals like you and me, people would have called it murder. When you murder someone, you kill him/her intentionally. It is not an accident. You can murder anyone: your next door neighbor or the beggar on the street. If you were to murder someone famous, then it would become an assassination. When famous people are killed because of political reasons, it is called an assassination.

Here are a few examples.

• Nobody still knows why President Kennedy was assassinated.

• When Indira Gandhi was assassinated, there was chaos in the country.
• We have asked Holmes to investigate the murder.

• Why would anyone want to murder the poor old man?

By the way, in the word assassination, the main stress is on the fourth syllable.

COURTESY : The Hindu (The National News-Paper) - India

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