Friday, August 11, 2006

Clouseau on the transit desk

Not to be rude or anything, but how many translation engines was this lede run through before it was posted?

Charlotte fliers should expect the long delays at the airline counters today where more passengers checking baggage with new security measure in place after a thwarted terror attack in Great Britain.

"Long delays" are indefinite, so they shouldn't take the determiner until they become a second reference: The threat is creating long delays. Charlotte fliers should expect the long delays at ... would be correct, if weird. The text sounds like a bad ESL parody:

What kinds of fruit are you growing?
* I am growing the peppers and the tomatoes.
I am growing peppers and tomatoes.

And the "where" clause ought to be set off with a comma, and it needs a complete verb, and "measure" needs to be plural. And, though it's kind of off-topic: At the BBC, where it's a distinctly local story, writers are still calling this a "suspected" plot. Is that just too cautious for our tastes, or do we know better'n they do?


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