(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘world wide words

In praise of punctiliousness…

On August 10 the website of the Athens [Georgia] Banner-Herald ran the headline “Man asked to clean up after dog pulls gun.”

It has subsequently been changed.

Via World Wide Words, where editor Michael Quinion also quotes from an article in The Independent on 12 August about the Australian general election: “On the campaign trail and addressing a Liberal Party event in the city of Melbourne [opposition leader Tony] Abbott said: ‘No one — however smart, however well-educated, however experienced — is the suppository of all wisdom’.”

Indeed.  (And lest one think there’s little at stake, this.)

[image above, via Nora Wilkinson]

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As we disagree with Vampire Weekend, we might send addled birthday greetings to an empress of ellipses and exclamation points, Jacqueline Susann; she was born on this date in 1921.  Having been disappointed by her luck as an actress and a model, Ms. Susann turned to the typewriter.  Her first novel, Every Night, Josephine (featuring her poodle), was a best-seller.  Her second, Valley of the Dolls was the best-seller:  it topped the chart for 22 weeks, and by the time of Susann’s death in 1974, had sold over 17 million copies, making it the best-selling novel of all time.  Its current cumulative sales of 30 million puts it in a dead heat with Gone With the Wind, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and To Kill a Mockingbird).

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 20, 2013 at 1:01 am

Sic!…

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From the ever-amusing (and ever-illuminating) Michael Quinion and Wide Wide Words:

The news ticker on the BBC site on 10 August read “Police chase man killed by train”. This was not a report of post-mortem athleticism:  the first three words make up a noun phrase – the police chased a  man, who was then killed by a train…

A similar confusion surrounds a headline found on the website of the Vancouver Province on 5 August: “Archeologist shoots dead rampaging polar bear”…

The story in the Sydney Morning Herald last Monday, on the other hand, is merely badly phrased: “Turks are notorious for breaking out into gunshots to celebrate weddings and sports victories”…

The headline on the website of The Daily Caller of Miami seems to imply a multifunction weapon: “Boy chases away man who shot his dad with kitchen knife.”

As we hesitate before committing to a headline, we might wish a joyeux anniversaire to writer and film-maker Alain Robbe-Grillet, whose first novel, The Erasers (Les Gommes) earned him the praise of eminent critics like Roland Barthes and (in retrospect) the title “father of the Nouveau Roman.”

Alain Robbe-Grillet

Written by (Roughly) Daily

August 18, 2010 at 12:01 am

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