Saturday, January 03, 2009

Confuse ... the cat!

Quick, what's the grammatical clue that suggests all is not well with this lede?

Strike launched on militants
PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- The U.S. military said a temporary closure of the key supply line was not a problem. Officials praised the campaign in the rugged hills of northwestern Pakistan where al-Qaida leaders — including Osama bin Laden — are thought to be hiding.

Confused? Here's what the AP wrote:

Pakistan suspended truck shipments of U.S. military supplies through the famed Khyber Pass on Tuesday after launching an offensive against militants who are trying to cripple Washington's war on a resurgent Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.

The U.S. military said a temporary closure of the key supply line was not a problem, and praised the campaign in the rugged hills of northwestern Pakistan where al-Qaida leaders — including Osama bin Laden — are believed hiding
.

Clearly there's some editing going on here -- the second graf has been broken into separate sentences, thus relieving the AP of any need to toss a coin and decide whether to use the comma between the two parts of the compound predicate or not.* But "removing the lede and leaving the readers to guess what 'the key supply line' and 'the campaign' represent" is not what we usually mean by "editing."

* Not. But thanks for asking.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who to find "*are believed hiding" ungrammatical?

9:39 PM, January 03, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skitt's law! Make that:
Am I the only one to find "*are believed hiding" ungrammatical?

9:40 PM, January 03, 2009  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

No.

"Are believed to be hiding" or "are believed hidden" - preferably the first.

3:05 PM, January 04, 2009  

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