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Is it better to "pass away" or to "die"?

Asked by elbanditoroso (14815 points ) April 13th, 2014

I was reading the newspaper this morning, and I observed that there is no consistency in how a person’s death is reported.

In one story, a person “passed away” – he died of a massive heart attack.

In another story, the person “died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound”.

Where do you draw the line? Is passing away something that happens to you, and dying something you do to yourself? Does it have to do with speed or violence?

When would you choose which word (or euphemism)?

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