Trial has not been able to come to a verdict?

Hi, on the BBC I’ve just heard this phrase:

… the trial has not been able to come to a verdict.

Now, how can a trial be able to do anything? Shouldn’t be able to be used only in connection with persons or organizations? I mean, a trial is an event, not a person. Maybe I’m wrong?
Thank you,

Hi Nicole, You asked:

I agree that this sounds a bit odd and is, as we say, pushing it somewhat. The only explanation I can put on it is perhaps laziness or to give it dignity, it could be construed as a sort of figure of speech whereby the whole stands for the part. This is called synecdoche. On the whole however I’m inclined to think it’s sloppy.


Hi Alan, thank you very much for your explanation, I have learned yet another new word: synecdoche.

Here is another strange phrase I have just seen on BBC:

From April 18 analogue satellite transmission of BBC Europe will end.

To me this sounds strange because in my opinion something ends on a day not from a day on. So, I would substitute from with on:

On April 18 …

Maybe, I’m missing something here?
Have a good Sunday,

Hi Nicole,

This is really a difference in meaning.

If you say Charlie is 17 on Tuesday, you are referring to that day and nothing after that. You could then say: From Tuesday (as he will be 17) he will be able to take a driving test.

This is the case in your example because although the transmission will end on April 18th, it will no longer be in existence after that date/from that date.