Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hold the 'phone

If there's any place you can fearlessly call an alligator a gator without fear of audience confusion, you'd kind of think it would be south Florida, right?

At least, it was as recently as Monday, under the hed "Here's your chance to get close to a hungry gator." Nor did it seem a problem last month: "Men busted for illegally capturing then killing gator outside of mall."

What exactly did the (ahem) "big reptile" do? At the front of my mental file drawer for "eat off," the preposition is pointing toward the thing the food is sitting on: you can eat off a paper plate, or get the floor so clean you could eat off it, whatever. The meaning here, though, is the one conveyed in the online hed: "Alligator bites off hand; illegal feeding suspected." Slight difference, you think?

Add this from the second paragraph:

Wallace Weatherholt, an operator for Doug's Airboat Tours, was taking six passengers on a tour of the Everglades City area about 3:45 p.m. when the Weatherholt was bitten.

... and you can be forgiven for wondering if somebody didn't have something better to do than worry about putting an apostrophe in front of "gator." Let's not take this page along when we make the pitch in the glass offices for more editing jobs.

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

The Weatherholt, laird of Weatherholt, I presume?

9:36 PM, June 15, 2012  
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10:48 PM, June 16, 2012  

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