Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What if you had this book ...

... and it had all these words in it, and it told you where they came from, and it was in alphabetical order for your convenience! Right, Nation's Newspaper of Record?
This appears to have been the offending text:

The Bight gets its name from its appearance: From space, it looks as if a giant bit into the southern coast of Australia. The crescent-shaped bay runs for more than 700 miles, lined by the longest stretch of sea cliffs in the world. 
And that pesky book with all the words? It gives "a bending or curved geographical feature, as an indentation in a coast line or mass of ice, a bend in a river, etc." from Old English and "a stretch of water between two headlands; a bay, esp. a shallow or slightly receding bay" dating to 1555.

The fundamental things still apply: If you don't know what it means, look it up. If you do know what it means, look it up anyway.

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Sunday, March 25, 2018

We are Siamese if you don't please

It can't be a good idea to encourage too much sympathy for those who take Fox's shilling, but -- do spare a moment's thought for the reporter who drew the short straw Sunday night and had to write about the "60 Minutes" interview. You can certainly forgive the occasional biscuit conditional ("... or 4 degrees Celsius if you're in Windsor").

If true, Trump would have been married a little more than a year to Melania. Their son, Barron, would have been four months old.

Clearly the writer has bigger things to think about.

I'm not sure how to count the next one, unless one party or the other ages at a different rate from the normal Earth year:

Needless to say, these aren't the only elements of interest in Fox's coverage. The noninverted question hed is unusual, and Fox hardly seems to have covered the Daniels matter enough for her to be "Stormy" in a headline. It should be an interesting few days if you're in Windsor.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

We're no angels

Spare a kind thought for our little friends in the party press. When their president speaks, they listen -- but what do you even do with a clause like "Sanctimonious James Comey was his boss and made McCabe look like a choirboy"? Do you read the first part in your Sam Elliott voice and the second as Marlowe? Let's see how it looked as the lead story Saturday afternoon at Fox:
Well, not exactly. How do you think it looked when you clicked through?

That's not much better at all, is it? Though at least we appear to have actually read our own lede:

President Trump called Andrew McCabe a 'choirboy' as he lauded the former acting FBI Director's firing, suggesting multiple federal reports show “corruption at the highest level.”

OK, double quotes in text, please, and the comma goes inside the quotes in the hed, but no. The president didn't call Mr. McCabe either of those things. Both are plausible insults:

McCabe, you're a choirboy!
McCabe, you're no choirboy!

... but (aside from being, you know, completely opposite) they're not what he was talking about. He was talking about James Comey, not McCabe. And you'd like to think that, even at Fox, there might be enough native speakers to figure that out.

 Don't spend too much time thinking nice thoughts about Fox; they've chosen to serve their orange monkey-king, and if that doesn't work out, plenty of coal and steel jobs will no doubt be waiting. (The same can't be said of grownup journalism.) But surely we can all understand that brief moment of panic at the arrival of the midnight tweet. You can see why it took until the following day to figure things out.

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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Oh my what?

Common cold cured, Fractious Near East at peace -- OK, we can see why the 1A centerpiece* is about somebody selling a house.** But that still can't justify the Forbidden Hed over the photo. Kids, if you must -- and you mustn't -- use a hed of the form "[noun] [noun] and [noun], oh my," at least make sure it scans.

One more thing? If this is indeed the case:

You could count the statuary five times and get a different result each time — 60 statues? 70? 80? The garage is like an auto museum.

 ... two possibilities come to mind:

1) You didn't do very well in school, or
2) Don't blink. DON'T EVEN BLINK.

* Well, to be fair, the Andrew McCabe thingy is the top brief on 6A.
** This line could be what put it over the top: "Photos of the home made the rounds on Facebook the last couple of days"

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Today in attribution

Imagine -- oh, come on, just go ahead and close your eyes and imagine -- a world in which a reporter* could explain what pi meant without having to quote the piday.com website.

You can even leave out the worlds in which people still consulted stylebooks on how to render dates, or in which commas knew their place, though I'd appreciate some word from overseas on how Pi Day is celebrated in those "worldwide" places where March 14 is 14/3.

* Your Editor was there on a fine day some 25 years ago when a page designer (from NC State, no less) caught a Star Reporter leaving pretty much all the zeroes out of Avogadro's number.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

Hed of the (still-young) month

Dear Washington Post: What was he supposed to fill it with?

Why it's a "fighting speech" for the inside hed, and the introductory quote fragment in the html is "the-tide-of-history-is-with-us" (but the speech remains "rhetoric-filled"), is beyond me. To the general sentiment, though: Sure, happy to oblige.

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