Originally Posted by Herlock Sholmes
The phrase ‘a cut neck’ sounds so clumsy and inappropriate (unless, of course, the cuts had only been made to the back of the neck.)
Correct - to the back or the side, but not the front, which is overwhelmingly referred to as "the throat" in everyday, and even technical, speech.
You can "suffer a cut to the neck" accidentally (e.g. at the barber shop, or whilst shaving), indeed it's quite common and can be fixed relatively simply; either with a styptic pencil, a band-aid or stitches. Cut throats, on the other hand, don't
tend to be the result of accidents but deliberate actions, are a lot more serious and harder to fix - if they can be fixed at all. It's for this reason that throat-cutting (as opposed to neck cutting) is an age-old method used by villains, or suicides, to quickly sever the carotid arteries and bring about death.
When was the last time you heard someone threaten to "cut someone's neck", for example? It's almost unheard of, but "I'll cut your throat!" turns up frequently in literature and elsewhere.
Its a bit like a back-stabbing being described as being ‘stabbed in the torso.’ Literally correct but unspecific and potentially misleading.
Correct again, except to refer to the slashed throats
of the Ripper victims as "cut necks" is even more unspecific and misleading. Their throats
were cut, period, just like we've been saying, correctly and accurately, for 130 years.