Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Not getting it

This isn't a "garden path" hed in the sentence-diagramming sense, but we ought to have a separate category for this flavor of desk-induced confusion:

Man dies after stabbing woman, starting fire

Eats-shoots-and-leaves-wise, are you missing some kind of causal connection between steps B and C? Maybe the lede will shed some light:

A North Carolina man has died after he stabbed his girlfriend and set himself on fire.

Erm, do you think we ought to make some sort of distinction between "setting a fire" and "setting yourself on fire"? Granted, the story's short on evidence to support the lede, but that calls for fudging the lede -- not leaving it in all its stark glory under a fudged hed.

As a general proposition, if a story doesn't make sense, it should be made to make sense. If reasonable efforts don't produce results in a short amount of time, well ... the "delete" key isn't there to sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" at you.


Blogger John Cowan said...

Why, certainly. Build a man a fire and he will be warm for a day; set a man on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

3:18 PM, June 10, 2009  

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