One recent development your ‘umble scribe has noticed in respect of the vocabulary used by members of the Fourth Estate is an unprecedented rise in the use of amid.

This preposition has the following definition:

in or into the middle of;surrounded by.

A useful synonym in this context is among.

Other definitions include during and with the accompaniment of.

Needless to say. these definitions are not always adhered to by the more illiterate members of the press and poor old amid is consequently used out of context, as per today’s example from the Powys County Times.

Headline reads Historic Newtown church struck by vandals amid appeal for witnesses

The confusion apparent in the headline was succinctly explained by the @KeepBristolTidy Twitter account, who helpfully stated the following.

Tweet reads So the church was struck by vandals on the middle of the appeal for information about the same vandals?