Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dial N for ...

Japan N-crisis draft under attack
BEIJING, China (CNN) -- China has described Japanese efforts to pass a U.N. resolution that would impose sanctions on North Korea for conducting missile tests an "overreaction," recommending the draft be revised.

Uh, guys? Last time I looked, "missile" begins with "m," not "n."

Couple of factors could be in play here. The hed writer could have been trying for "m-crisis" and slipped. That wouldn't have been a very good stretch, even it it had worked. Or the hed writer could have mistaken the missile crisis for a nuclear crisis, which is making things a few dozen kilotons scarier than they need to be. Either way -- and this does seem to be starting to sound like a broken record -- let's try to be extra cautious about whom we impute the nukeler firecracker to. Especially when the Axis of Evil is involved.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I assumed N was for North Korea.

5:40 PM, July 11, 2006  
Blogger fev said...

Hmm. The "N-" clip for "nuclear" is pretty common, but I'm having a hard time coming up with any examples of a geographic correlate. Hed language has done some strange things to countries and places over the years, but somehow B-crisis or I-crisis or G-crisis doesn't ring a bell.

Got an example?

6:40 PM, July 11, 2006  
Blogger Andy Bechtel said...

One of the papers in my area regularly uses "N-plant" in headlines on stories about nuclear power. It looks awful and probably doesn't mean much to the typical reader.

1:38 PM, July 12, 2006  
Blogger fev said...

Yeah, I must admit "N-plant" is going to be one of those hed sins I have to explain more than once at the Pearly Gates. Likewise, probably, "N-test." And I might have to own up to an "A-arms" or something if the questioner is really picky.

My evil past aside, the bigger worry around here -- and somewhat to my relief, out in the paying world too -- is the ease with which 'nuclear program' turns into 'nuclear weapons,' the sort of distinction you'd like your World News Leaders to have a slightly better grasp on.

By the way, you Chapel Hill Newspaper refugees and other expats out there, pls make Andy welcome. He preaches the gospel over at Carolina these days.

10:13 PM, July 12, 2006  

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