Sunday, October 16, 2011

An odd way of looking at things

This AP lede seems to have run more or less untouched at newspapers and websites around the country, so apparently it made sense to somebody, but does anyone else find the phrasing a bit strange?

The decision to pull out fully by January will effectively end more than eight years of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war

Could some of our linguist friends help out here, please? Why do I get the impression that "the Iraq war" was some sort of ongoing concern, like the Big 12, a bar fight or the local food movement, that the U.S. just happened upon and thought it would be interesting to join? Rather than, say, an unprovoked bit of imperial aggression that we've been involved in from the outset because we started it?

I'd hate to think that had just kind of slipped the AP's mind.

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3:59 AM, October 18, 2011  
Anonymous Bob L. said...

That "its" toward the end is also a bit short in the antecedent department. I assume "Iraq" is the one so intended, but "Iraq" is used attributively, i.e., like an adjective, and pronouns don't usually have adjectives as their antecedents. Would "Iraq's" have been so offensive?

Oh, well ...

7:05 AM, October 21, 2011  

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