Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bet he didn't

Even if you're The Nation's Newspaper®, you don't get to make up new meanings for established usages.

Sure, it's possible to "jump" a mode of transportation -- as long as you're getting on. You can jump a train. You can jump a turnstile to get there. If you're feeling guilty, you could even jump an unwary tourist for the fare. But when you exit the said conveyance, you jump off -- out of, if you wish, but you need the preposition.

There's a lot more to complain about. The alleged lead "suggests" that Cooper "may well have survived," whether it pans out or not. The verbs in the complement clause should be coordinated better: "may well have survived .... and gone on to live 30 years." And then there's the issue of D.B. Cooper stories in general. I'm tired of them. So tired that I propose a new rule: Henceforth, until Mr. Cooper himself produces his birf certificate, all D.B. Cooper ledes will begin "It's unofficial."

Just to shame the offenders.

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Blogger banacek said...

Your larger point, that this is an awkward-sounding hed, is entirely valid, but the claim that "jumps plane" is made up and plainly unidiomatic is complicated somewhat by the existence of the prepositionless phrase "to jump ship." It didn't work, of course, but an analogy along those lines may have been what the hed writer was going for.

1:33 PM, August 02, 2011  
Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

But when you " jump ship" you are a crew member. Still, you're probably right that that's the origin.

11:27 PM, August 08, 2011  

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