Prepositions and conjunctions aside, if one were to count the most frequently appearing words in news articles, "officials" and "authorities" -- nouns, they happen to be -- would likely be close to the ones most often found. In the course of a given day thumbing through news stories, one finds innumerable pieces with lines such as "ICE plans to release migrant families in detention, officials say" (CNN), "Dozens of Students Kidnapped in Central Nigeria, Officials Say" (Voice of America), "The U.S. has carried out an airstrike on a structure connected to an Iran-backed militia in Syria ... according to a defense official" (Politico), "Vaccination efforts are going well, according to authorities" (Iceland Review). Further specifics on the identity of these "officials" or "authorities" are rarely provided, often leaving the reader with the near impression that the pieces' claims are simply imparted from on high.
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