Monday, April 17, 2017

Softest barriers EVAR

Every time I think I have the claim quote figured out, a new one comes along. Here, I think it's the phrasing that gets me. The quote in the linked video is: "He was breaking down barriers that nobody suspected." There's room for "Chuck Berry 'was breaking down barriers'"; if that seems too much more opaque than the current version, there's also room to take the quotes off and add the attribution: "Chuck Berry broke down barriers, Simmons says." The down barriers, though, are going to remain a problem for me.

I expect I have trouble with "over US election hack" because I'm not a native speaker of claim quotes (fair enough; the flying verb seems pretty opaque in British headlinese too). Is "hack" what needs the attribution, or is the "over" part of the contested assertion?

Sorry these are a bit old; trying to clear out the inbox before things get any stranger in the framing of international politics.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Ed Latham said...

Actually, you can read the very faintest shade of meaning between RUSSIAN ARRESTED OVER 'US ELECTION HACK' and RUSSIAN ARRESTED 'OVER US ELECTION HACK'. The first one is the more standard form and usually means something like: 'We know a Russian has been arrested, we have the authorities' confirmation that it is over the election hack. However, that charge is currently unproven'. Hence the quote marks go around 'US election hack', standing in for the word 'alleged'.

Including the 'over' in the claim quotes probably means something slightly different – something more like: 'We know for a fact that a man has been arrested, but the BBC is unable to confirm why: third parties have claimed it is in relation to hacking'.

But, judging by the 'reports say' in the standfirst, it sounds like the BBC might be passing the whole story on, unverified, from an outside source. In that case, 'arrested' should probably be in the quote too, if they're not even independently sure about that.

But of course in the second example, there's no earthly reason to be putting half of a phrasal verb inside a claim quite and leaving half outside! I think the down barriers are a problem for everyone.

8:57 PM, April 17, 2017  

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