Thursday, January 05, 2006

Good, bad, ugly, &c

The good: Sports cutline spells EeTisha Riddle's given name correctly (1B Thursday).
The bad: Would the "Lotoya Bond" in the antepenultimate graf be the LaToya Bond mentioned at the MU athletics Web site and in countless Missourian and Trib tales during her four years on the basketball team?
The ugly: "... celebrates Missouri’s victory over Baylor." Three consecutive days and counting for "celebrate" cutlines. When will it end, O Lord?

The silly: Three examples from the 1A Thursday centerpiece:
Harris explained that some of the important issues span from securing the state in terms of natural disasters to denying bonds for sex offenders on appeal to prohibiting the sale of violent or explicit video games to minors.
He explained that Democrats think Missouri companies should have preference in state and government contracts.
Representative Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico, explained eminent domain would be one of his most important issues.
Copyeds, change these to "said." At once. Use "explain" only for direct objects ("She explained the principles of nuclear fusion"). Use "said" for routine attribution. What isn't clear about that?

The painted into a grammatical corner (1A Wednesday):
Life from the roadside
It’s dirty, stinky, rude, incredibly cold, fulfilling, traditional and sometimes just heart-rending to adopt a highway

Read the deck as a separate sentence for some of the predicate adjectives and you'll see the parallelism problem:

It’s fulfilling to adopt a highway
It’s sometimes just heart-rending to adopt a highway
It’s rude to adopt a highway

It's easy to see how it could be fulfilling or heart-rending to adopt a highway. But how is it "rude"? I expect the writer meant something on the order of "it's a rude experience," meaning people might be rude to you without much if any provocation, but that's not what "it's rude to ..." means in English. Compare the hed to

It's rude to make fun of people's headlines

... and it's clearer. Remember, readers can't know what the writer meant. They only know what the writer said.


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