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SofaKingSmart's avatar

What exactly is electrocution?

Asked by SofaKingSmart (49points) April 5th, 2011

I think I was electrocuted, but I survived. I’ve been told that I was not actually electrocuted because I survived – and that to be electrocuted results in death. What exactly happened to me anyhow? Was I electrocuted by proxy?

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6 Answers

PhiNotPi's avatar

Welcome to Fluther! Electrocution is defined as death caused by an electric shock. Since you are still alive, you were not electrocuted, but would have suffered from an electric shock.

everephebe's avatar

Yes, electrocution does mean death, but it has been used loosely in the past.
“Ouch, I was just electrocuted!”
I’ve heard people say electrocuted when they meant electric shock. It’s an exaggeration, like saying the traffic was torture, or the lecture was agony.

There is precedent for using the word electrocuted, to mean less than death by electricity. Is that technically accurate? No.

WasCy's avatar

Welcome to Fluther.

The previous two got it right. “Electrocution” means essentially “death from electric shock”. Unless you’re writing to us from beyond the grave (and if you are, then we have questions for you), then you weren’t shocked to death, ‘merely’ shocked.

This reminds me of a cute little story, probably apocryphal, about Daniel Webster. According to the legend, Mr. Webster was taking a break from writing his first dictionary by indulging in amorous play with his comely secretary. His wife, suspecting nothing, entered the room to find him holding her tightly and preparing to kiss her. Startled, she exclaimed, “Daniel! I am surprised!”

“No, my dear,” he corrected her, “I am surprised. You are shocked.”

We’re a bunch of pedants, we are.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Ron_C's avatar

The amount of damage can vary but the result is death by electricity. I’ve had a couple near misses in my life, I work on electronic and electrical circuits. I have seen people electrocuted with 480 high current industrial supplies. It is very nasty,joints literally blow out and those that survive near misses are badly burned.

Personally, I have been knocked out buy 20K volts. I felt like I was hit in the back of the neck with a hammer then remember the blackest black that I have ever seen. Fortunately, that and a small scar on my heart was the only damage.

fredesterly's avatar

Electrocution is the stopping of life (determined by a stopped heart) by any type of electric shock.

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