Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fair 'n' disingenuous

For a place that employs so many critics (and goes so far as to run a "Critic's Notebook" at the top of the Sunday front), you'd think the Newspaper of Record would keep somebody around who can handle the basics of press criticism.

The public editor's job is different. Somebody has to take random accusations of professional skulduggery from  the News of the Screws seriously, I suppose. But what about the "Media Decoder" ("Behind the Screens, Between the Lines"), who put together this synopsis of Jann Wenner's latest exclusive for Rolling Stone appeared:

In his sharpest critique yet of the nation’s highest-rated cable news channel, President Obama said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine that Fox News promoted a point of view that was “destructive” to the growth of the United States.

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A nice survey to ignore

Want to save some space in the Wednesday paper? Go ahead and ignore the story about the Pew Form survey on American religious ignorance. (Oops -- already on the front page? Well, enjoy the cautionary rant anyway.)

I'm not suggesting it's a poorly conducted or faulty poll. (It has some conceptual design issues that should be clear in a second, but don't we all?) The problem is that it's the sort of instrument that says very little of any real interest while being attractive enough to be trumpeted for all the wrong reasons by all the wrong sorts of people.

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Chain of fools

Who's leasing what to whom? Or who's chaining what to whom? What's your first reading?

There's just enough slop going on here to tip this reefer into true crash-blossom territory. And yes, a little obsessive hyphenation would help. At least, I'd be pretty sure that "Cash for clunker" was modifying "leases," and that "chain" was the verb. That's "pretty sure," because I've tried five or six ways to find the story and can't. (I get to a Casey Anthony story first, and at that point, I'm checking out and heading somewhere else.)

Since you asked: Yes. Busy. Cursed busy. Arse-deep in teh busy. Hope it'll clear off soon. And you?


Friday, September 24, 2010

Two steps forward, three steps back

When the candidates in your own backyard commence to going deep-catalog unhinged on you, there's some sort of journalistic obligation to put it on the front page and talk about it. But there are better and worse ways of talking about it. We'll go from not-very-good to awful.

Here's the story as it appears on the N&O Web site (the image is from the right side of today's front):

Republican congressional candidate Renee Ellmers has released a television advertisement that calls the planned Muslim community center in New York City a "victory mosque" and associates it with terrorists.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The dangler at play

Quick, grammar fans: who went out to the polls on Saturday?

In my old age, I've come to find kindly Professor Pullum's case fairly convincing: when good writers routinely use some construction that seems not to confuse competent readers in many cases, it's hard to say the construction is an error in all cases. Thus, he counts many danglers as faults of etiquette more than grammar. But others cause a bit more disquiet, and still others are -- well, what exactly got into the water out there in the major U.S. media at the weekend?

The Times checked in with this on Sunday (14A in the national):

The death toll in the restive region of Kashmir continued to rise on Saturday, with at least three more protesters being killed, including reports of security officers firing on a crowd that had defied the curfew to march in the funeral procession of a young boy.

And MSNBC, on one of the mystery now-you-see-it stories of the month:

According to the officials, after shooting the two women at a "shoppette" a convenience store in a small shopping center, Army civilian security guards ordered the suspect to put down his weapon. The suspect apparently refused and got into a car when the guards shot and killed him.

These flirt with discourtesy at least, and a couple of them go beyond disquiet. I'm inclined to read "going to the polls" differently from "going out to the polls"; the first is the standard news-writing term, but the second sounds to me more like what a big visitor from outside would do. So even if Gen. Petraeus was a toss-up, that would bias me toward thinking it was hehim. But he doesn't show up until the 35th graf of the AP tale Fox used, and there's no indication in his one appearance that he went out.

The NYT example is perhaps closest to the classic dangler, rather than the misattached or squinting variety. If there had been other reports in the lede, that'd be different, but these are concrete events: a death toll rising and people being killed, so I'm not sure where to put "reports."

In the MSNBC case, the easiest meaning is exactly what it seems: the guards shot the two women, then ordered the suspect to surrender. With the context that the story provides, it's not a problem. The perp is the one who did the shooting. But what's the point of misleading me?

Every now and then at the outset of the semester, I wonder about moving the strict dangling-participle rule into the optional category. Based on this, I think we ought to keep teaching it. The line between discourtesy, disquiet and outright goofiness is a bit too blurry.

OFF TOPIC: Do spare a kind thought for Language Czarina, who as of midafternoon Wednesday had officially endured 25 years of marriage to Your Editor yet seems to be bearing up pretty well.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Secedes of destruction

The Verb of the Morning is brought to you by the Fair 'n' Balanced Network.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Man bites pundit

Regular reader Garrett asks for the house's take on this from
Despite Delaware and studios full of pundits saying the voters are furious and 2010 will be a terrible year for incumbents, the reality is that 98% of incumbents have won their primaries. Only seven incumbents have gone down, but the media are completely consumed by those seven and have ignored the hundred of incumbents who have survived challenges. "Man bites dog" makes for better news than "dog bites man" but the latter is still a lot more common, despite the odd headline about the former.
The short answer is "yep," but the long answer is more fun. "Man bites dog" isn't exactly the right analogy, though. That's just the J105 value of novelty: the odd Hapsburg working at the Burger King. I like "shark bites man" better; it's a rare event that sometimes turns into a trend story and sometimes doesn't, without regard to whether or how the underlying numbers have changed.
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As opposed to ...?

And while we're checking into all those nonfatal drownings, perhaps we could have that little conversation about whether and when we want to disable the "like" button.

BTW, the lede says western Charlotte, the second graf says western Meck, and the Googles show the block in question (as the story says) almost to the river. Anybody care to clear up the confusion?

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clues 'n' polls

And we have a winner for Clueless Hed Orthography Trick of the Year!

Like it or not (I emphatically don't), you can see a sort of rudimentary logic in the tediously familiar pickin'-and-grinnin' hed. The desk is tryin' to show it's not a complete tool of the big-city liberal pantywaist elite, so it finds a way of sayin' it once watched three minutes of "Hee Haw" too. Here, though, we cain't even tell what they're reachin' for -- maybe a clever allusion to the stylebook's "rock 'n' roll" entry?*

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Bad phrasing

Give the poor human brain a break, all right? It gets up in the morning, it lets you make it a cup of coffee, it tries to get you going on the rest of the day, and then you turn around and subject it to headlines like this.

This is a problem of phrasing, and it's why an editing class should still spend a little time on matters of form (I was tempted to call it "elegance," but you could also call it "neuropsychology") before dashing off to the annoying yet marketable world of search-engine optimization. We're tricking the parser here. "NCAA steps up rules" is a perfectly formed sentence in and of itself. The trouble is that "rules" isn't the bull goose noun in the NP in question. That honor goes to "efforts," meaning that (despite having already solved one clause at the top of the front page) your poor brain has to go back and recalculate the whole thing with "efforts" as the direct object.

Wouldn't it be easier to take all that into account in the first place? To make the first line say something like, oh, "NCAA steps up efforts," so that the second line can say "to enforce NNNNNN rules," because all of a sudden you can actually say something about what sort of rules the enforcement of which is about to be stepped up?

Really. If you're going to lead the Friday paper with a college sports story,* the least you can do is pitch the headline at a level I can read. And if the lede** is on the order of:

As William Friday*** closely follows reports of NCAA investigators heading to campuses across the country during the past three months, he can come to only one conclusion.

... you probably want to think about whether you have a lead story in the first place. Apply the basic test for news heds: Can you write a subject-verb-object hed from the lede?

... and you'll probably decide that we have the wrong story at the top of the front. Perhaps that wouldn't be a bad thing.

* The dean must be waxing wroth.
** Normally, dear readers, I would provide you a link here, but the day's top story seems to have gone behind some sort of GoGamecocks firewall. Bear in mind that these are the sort of people who put mustard in their barbecue sauce.

*** Better known as Bill Friday if you've paid any attention to public life in North Carolina over the past five decades or so. He's one of the genuinely admirable figures in it.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Location, location, location

Say what you will about old Arafat, he was a reliable producer of news, and that meant he'd show up every semester on a J110 weekly news quiz, and without fail, at least one rising star of journalism per term would seize the chance to identify him as "Israeli president." That's one reason we have J-school. It's a chance to work out your moments of sublime cluelessness (well, some of them*) before you take your act on the road.

A step, apparently, that you get to bypass when you sign on at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network! Not only can you skip the pesky lie/lay stuff, you can move the Fractious Near East a continent to the south!

* Your Editor speaks from experience.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The 60,000,008-year-old dinosaur

Don't you just hate rearranging the bookshelves? Now I can't find my copy of "How to Lie with Statistics," but I think that's where the anecdote about the dinosaur comes from, give or take a few tens of millions of years.

Anyway. Teacher takes tinies to the museum. Tinies enthralled by dinosaur skeleton. Teacher asks guard: "How old is the dinosaur?"

"Sixty million and eight years old."

Teacher, impressed, asks guard how he knows so precisely.

"I was hired eight years ago, and they told me it was 60 million years old."

That's the category of hed we have here, and it illustrates a basic principle of journalism arithmetic. The sum of a guess and a number is not a number; it's a guess. The sum of an estimate, a guess and three or four numbers is still not a number; it's a guess too. When you see a lede on the order of:

Seven business expansions in metro Detroit that will create 938 jobs directly were approved for state tax credits Tuesday by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA).

... your first order of business is to add up everything that follows and see if you're dealing with a real number or not. Let's see:

"An estimated 280 jobs"

"Up to 288 direct jobs"
"87 direct jobs"
"103 new jobs"
"38 direct new jobs expected"
"67 direct new jobs"
"75 new direct jobs"

You can't take three from two, two is less than three, so you look at the four in the -- very good! The answer isn't "938." It's "more than 900" or some other such approximation, because the sum of "estimated," "up to" and "expected" is ... a guess!

That's an error of omission -- the hed writer repeats the reporter's error, rather than challenging it. The lede says that "business expansions" will create the jobs.* The hed says it's the tax credits. I think the former is more likely. That's a sin of commission.

I'm generally anti-conspiracy-theory by nature, and in the great battle between Media Bias and Media Dumb, my money is usually on Dumb. But if (based on that hed) someone wanted to accuse the paper of distorting the news by way of propagandizing for the economic development office, I'd have a hard time demonstrating otherwise.

* I can take a good guess at what "direct jobs" means, but that too would be a guess. I don't know, I kind of like it when stories spell out what their terms of art mean, and I'm too tired to put up with much "everybody knows what that means." Grr.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today in journalism history

If you're going to teach jour- nalism, why not -- have the little monsters learn by making a newspaper come out every day? And with that wisdom in mind, on this day in 1908, did the World's Baddest Journalism School launch the World's Baddest Journalism Teaching Laboratory. The cartoon* is from the top of the first front page.

Journalism education wasn't new. As a downpage story notes, Harvard had 13 journalism graduates in its class of 1908. But a standalone journalism school was -- as were the Missourian (then known as the "University Missourian"), the idea of a journalism PhD, and all sorts of other ideas that came up along the way.

What might your Missourian shift have looked like 102 years ago? Let's see:


It is Trouble Enough to Have Lost
More Than Half His Prisoners,
He Sadly Declares.
Hear now the wail of A. D. Tyson, keeper of the city jail. For "Uncle Mike,'' as he is known to the habitues of the City Hall, is being "investigated." Hard hit by the era of prohibition in Columbia, which has cut down his daily boarders by one-half, "Uncle Mike'' feels that he has had his share of trouble.

... The inquiry was prompted by a petition to Council at the last regular meeting from twenty former prisoners in the jail, who protested that while they were in the care of "Uncle Mike" they were fed the "filthiest, dirtiest and vilest quality of tainted meat and half-cooked bread."

The problem, apparently, is that the jailer's only compensation comes from the 12 cents per inmate daily he's allotted for board, and since the town went dry, it's become a money-losing proposition for him.

Anyway: Happy anniversary to those whose first newspaper (or last) was the Nightmare on Elm Street. May you all get to write a hed like NEWSPAPER POETRY IN TURKEY AT LAST! some day.

(For the record, as a taxpayer, I'd like to express my delight at having a resource like the Library of Congress's "Chronicling America" as close as the nearest computer. What a genuine treasure.)

* Bonus trivia question: Could the baby see the original HEADSUP-L office from where it's sitting?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Help wanted: Another editing study

For a research project, I’m seeking help in determining the indicators of good editing: things you see -- or don't see -- that tell you a story has gotten appropriate treatment at the stage between the writer and the reader.  If you’re interested, please answer these questions in the comments field (or send an e-mail if you prefer). I'm especially interested in the opinions of editors, but non-editors and non-journalists are encouraged to join in too.
  • What are three features of grammar that help you tell whether a story was well edited?
  • What are three features of style that help you tell whether a story was well edited?
  • What are three features of content that help you tell whether a story was well edited?
Would you describe yourself as:
            A heavy reader of news?
            A moderate reader of news?
            A light reader of news?

Are you:
            An editor in print or online journalism?
            A print or online journalist who isn’t an editor?
            An editor who doesn’t work in print or online journalism?
            An academic?
            None of those?

I plan to use answers in designing the study. The goal is to see how audiences perceive the importance of editing. Feel free to answer anonymously; I’ll treat answers as anonymous, and they won’t appear in the study itself. I'm also posting this at ACES and TCEs. (Sharing encouraged, but one response to a customer, please.) Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for your consideration.

Subject, verb, object

Rogue hed in sight: Diagram- ming party, stand by to repel boarders.

A date which will live in ...

... wait, what?

A caption with a photo of a wreath-laying ceremony at Fort Bragg in Saturday's Local & State section included an incorrect date for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

So -- what sort of lede might have been going through the mind when the infamous cutline was written (or even cut-n-pasted)?

As a nation, we promised to remember.

And we do, every year when Sept.11 comes around. Three sites on American soil. Four planes, 19 terrorists. Nearly 3,000 innocent people.

Already some of the details fade. The name of that town in Pennsylvania, where the United Airlines flight went down? Shanksville. The time the first plane hit the World Trade Center? It was 8:46 a.m.

Yes, we remember now.

At Fort Bragg, soldiers can never forget.

"Correction of the year" barely begins to cover it.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hat trick of survey fail

Of the things you can get wrong with reporting on public opinion, Ohio's Greatest Home Newspaper manages to hit almost all of them in this 1A tale (with charts). In no particular order, they represent failings of writing, statistical presentation and reporting. Let's go:

It might be legal, but that doesn't make it right.

That's generally how we feel about the mosque and Islamic community center proposed for near where New York's twin towers fell nine years ago today, says a new poll of the Columbus area conducted by Saperstein Associates for The Dispatch.

Never report survey results as a reflection of what "we" feel. They are not. That's the cheapest of cheap USA Today-style populism. Surveys show what proportions of a population say at a particular time. It's no more accurate to say "we feel" something than to say "we support" the candidate who took 55% of the vote in an election. And while you're at it, never write ledes of the form "Dead. That's what the man was when they found him," even in Thurber's old hometown.

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But this is real!

Today's journalism tip: When your brilliant pop-culture lede can be deleted with no impact whatsoever on the following paragraphs, save your editor the trouble and delete it yourself.

Believe it or not, no matter how popular your reference might have been, there will be some who don't get it. There will be others who manage to get through the day's news without having to relate it to their viewing habits. There will be yet others whose first response is on the order of "D00d! Just like 'The Sopranos'!" You could consider letting them enjoy the discovery on their own.


Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Vintage NYT

No, you can't do this. Even if you're the New York Times Magazine, you can't do this:

The episode was vintage Coulson, who ruled the newsroom with single-minded imperiousness: get the story, no matter what.

"Vintage Coulson" is fine. That's one of the things proper nouns can do. But it can't turn around from that specific construction and spread its awesome nominal magic over the succeeding relative clause. "Typical of Coulson" would have worked; so would ending the sentence at "Coulson" and starting a new one with "He ruled the newsroom." But not "vintage Coulson, who ruled ..."

Please don't let that keep you from enjoying an otherwise Ripping Yarn; I mean, it's almost like reading Private Eye, only without Colemanballs.* Stay tuned to see if the outraged Murdoch press decides to turn this one into another chapter in the War on Freedom.

* Hmm. Colemanballs vs The Ethicist. Street of Shame vs Deborah Solomon. Why do I seem to be getting the short end of the deal here?

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sentence of the morning

Diagramming party aft to splice the mainbrace!

As you ponder the strange unnatural beauty of this sentence, think of all the ways it could have gone right -- all the easy choices the writer, or any of several downstream editors, could have made to avert the syntactic train wreck that resulted.

And here's a bonus post-peak thistlebottom, in case you're expecting to be mugged by a rogue slot on the way to class:

If "school choice" are buzzwords in education today, schools like the Upland Hills School in Oxford offer the ultimate in choice.

I doesn't think "school choice" are buzzwords. "School choice" is a buzzword -- a buzz NP if you must, but surely nobody means to suggest that "school" has suddenly become the buzzword in education. (Stop the press!) It seems fine to say that "choice" is a buzzword in education, but as it stands, someone got a little too picky for his
her their own good.

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Monday, September 06, 2010

'Cognitive dissonance' for $100, Alex

Wanna watch the little brains asplode? Turn to the comments on the No. 2 Most Top Super-Important Story of the Day over to the Fair 'n' Balanced Network!

With all due respect General, muslims hate us... Their ultimate goal is conquest of the world in the name of Islam, by whatever means works

I understand that General Petraeus is just trying to do the job he was told to do by his bosses like any military member. However, a LOT of folks are tired of the PC junk that they've had shoved down their throats and their mood is turning very angry very fast. Its all coming apart, all this "hope and change" bunk, and though the left will whine and moan, its too late.

Maybe when they stop burning Bibles, we'll start thinking about not burning the Korans. It's about time we fight back and dump all this political correctness. So the General can blame Koran burning all he wants but it is our spineless politicians that won't fight the war to win and instead play there politically correct games that gets our troops killed. If our so called leaders would fight the war to win, it would have been over a long time ago with many American lives saved.............

I do not know this guy very well, but I do not like the spineless stance he is taking. .... If he is the epitome of heroism like all those medals suggest, we need him on the front line like Andrew Jackson! Need to restructure and get this guy out of command.

Now you know why they replaced General McCrystal . He would not support the Koran.

Our own general showing a weakness of threats from the enemy? Now that's not very good at all. ... Petraus is speaking for Obama because Obama is too weak to do it himself.

General Betrayus is afraid of muslims.

General, Sir. Did you tell the Afghans that they should not step on and burn the American Flag when they go about their protests, or is your criticism just aimed at the free speech of Americans?

Hey General,....I'm retired active duty, twenty six of service. If you, a fellow warrior don't have the stomach to fight, then step aside and let warriors fight the enemy.

This is the Political Correctness that will destroy this Country ! And now our top General cave's to it ! Let's take off the Glove's and Fight a World War, Like my Father and uncle's did in WW2 ! That is what is going on here. If all you nimrods cant understand what's going on here " It's a World War "!!!! And Islam And There followers, are Bringing it on.

Oh great! Now we've got a general that won't stand up for our constitution, and wants to cave in to the enemy. ... If he can't handle the job, he needs to go and go now. I'm sure a lot of our soldiers would like to have a leader that is willing to go in with all guns a blazing and get this war over with, so they can get home to their families and the Afgan people can get on with their lives.

Hey, General, I don't approve of burning Koran's, either, but it is not your place to comment on what folks in Florida or anywhere else in the United States do on September 11th or any other day of the year. Your job is to make our enemies afraid of us. Or we need to find someone else who can.

Maybe we should have made our troops and US citizens read and revere Mein Kampf during WWII.

And you could go on and on -- as, indeed, the commenters do. Look. I think a couple of things about General Petraeus. One, he knows a substantial bit more about his job than I do. Two, he's no dummy. (I'm going to assume that Princeton and Missouri are part of the Universal Reciprocal Dissertation Treaty: we don't make fun of theirs, and they don't make fun of ours.) Three -- my, the folks who were enraged about "General Betray Us" a few years ago seem to have changed their tune in a hurry, don't they?


The preadolescents are alright all right

Here's another of those myths that give editors a bad name: "Kids" means baby goats and nothing else, so you must never use it to refer to little tiny human persons.

True, you might have passed the neighborhood goat corral on your way to school every day*, and that meaning might have had some salience for you. But sight unseen, let's just go ahead and bet that you grew up knowing perfectly well that "kids" means "children."Along with all the other language skills that went into making you a competent hed writer, you also learned that most restrictions on using "kids" come from context. It's fairly informal, so you tend to avoid it in formal situations, and needs some accompaniment -- "college kids," "Comeback Kid" -- if you want to use it for adults.

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Book, chapter, vs.

Quick, what do you figure is the Hed Word of the Week downtown?
Caper can't catch break vs. dad's team (2C) 

White Sox sweep twin bill versus Red Sox (4C)

(Bonus cutline: Chicago's Manny Ramirez had three hits vs. his old team Saturday.)

Cubs' Silva to start Tuesday versus Astros

Car dealer is champ vs. cancer

On the bright side: A glance at both sports sections (it's September, so college football has a section to itself) finds no cutlines using "celebrate." That seems like progress.

Avast, me hardies

Cutline of the morning, Sunday thumbsucker division:

A controlled burn in early spring at the Belle Isle Nature Zoo knocked down the island's largest stand of phragmites, a hearty invasive species that choked out native plants.

Hard to say exactly what went on here. Perhaps everyone was caught up in the drama of the Silent Slug Siege (the phragmites photo is with the jump from the story shown at right). Or perhaps they were thinking ahead to tailgating season and the hearty slug-and-reed stews of a crisp Midwestern autumn.

Or perhaps somebody forgot that photographers don't always see it as their mission to look words up before dumping their notes on the desk.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Stop press: Editor denounces text!

So the new editing class met for the first time this evening, and Your Editor found a few examples from the morning fishwrap to enliven the usual opening sermon -- you know, we have done things we ought not to of have done, and we have left undone things we ought to have done, and we need to reverse that in a hurry if we ever expect ours to become a paying craft again Amen.

Amid the usual cascade of dumb headlines, bizarre sexism and reminders of why you never type anything on the screen that you don't want to see in print was the excerpt above, from a brief about street closings for the upcoming Arts, Beats and Eats festival.* It makes sense if you know the area (still more or less as it was laid out in the 1830s) and your brain doesn't mind shifting at random between north-south and east-west streets. But it struck me as a real editing failure, in that nobody asked why that particular chunk of information was a couple of paragraphs, rather than a map.

Here's a representation from Google that shows you exactly the area in question. (Extend it a few blocks west to Woodward if you really need another major surface road.) Shouldn't the craft of "omitting needless words" include asking the degree to which any story is a "word" story at all? Should that be the sort of question editors raise?

Glad you asked, because that means we can look at what the editors were doing for Thursday's paper:

"Cherry tomatoes don't grill well," Gabriel says. "Pick firm and meaty vegetables with a low-moisture content, and make sure the vegetables are compatible with the meat."

That's not the sort of things writers do to themselves. That's an editor who doesn't have time to spend figuring out what the sentence is saying but knows that evil awaits those who fail to follow THE RULES about hyphenating compounds before nouns. So without regard to whether the idea was fine as it was (all vegetables have a moisture content, and we want the ones with a low moisture content), the robot brain strikes, and we lurch into the hunt for vegetables with lots of that low moisture in 'em.

You can see why, when we plunge into grammar next week, we're going to start with diagramming, rather than with manic screaming about hyphens.

* Owing to the victory last month by a bunch of strident open-carry loonies who demanded assurances that they could flaunt their sidearms amid the beer, noms and music, the fest will henceforth be known as Arts, Shoots and Leaves. Please make a note of it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Football showdown brouhaha

St. Custards hav begun another term, and what with Language Czarina's first class starting amid the "initial post-peak period," we decided to take the surface route* into town. This means a different sort of Morning Language Festival from the usual, including:
  • My favorite ambiguous church, St. John the Baptist Catholic
  • The strangest sign I've seen yet at a cemetery gate: "Now Open Sundays 11-4!"
  •  A wonderful noun phrase from the intersection of Sports and Politics: "The Ohio State-Michigan end-of-the-season football showdown brouhaha." The brouhaha, if you don't keep up with these things, has arisen because the OSU-Michigan football showdown could under some circumstances no longer be end-of-the-season, and some factions in the Ohio legislature don't like that.
May your semester be off to a good start too, wherever it might take you.

* The natives have so many words for "traffic"!