Probe to mean investigation is classic journalese, using words or expressions rarely spoken in everyday conversation. Have you ever heard a conversation like this? “Hey, Mary, did you hear they’re probing the mayor?” “No, what are they using? A fork?”
In our dictionary, we give an example from the Boston Herald of Dec. 9, 2010: “Police probe Burlington man found stabbed.” We offer our sympathies: “As if the poor guy didn’t get enough sticking.”
Now, the Boston Globe has a great page 1 headline on May 24, 2017: “A Capitol case of probe proliferation — Five groups investigate allegations on Trump.” The story explains: “No fewer than five probes are underway, examining aspects of the Russia scandal from possible ties between Trump associates and the Kremlin to the president’s stunning firing of the FBI director at a time the agency was conducting a criminal investigation into the matter.”
File under: Plenty of probing coming in the media.
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