Thursday, August 30, 2007
"Which is more fatal, an ant bite or falling off a cliff?" That's wrong right?
So how about "Which is fatal, an ant bite or falling off a cliff?"
Take the headline, for instance, which is probably not the writer's doing, but anyway..."Dance pop mega-star Stefani thrills younger fans" ... Dance pop mega-star. It doesn't quite roll off the tongue, does it? I wasn't too crazy about the lede, either:
Add this to the list of things you don't see in Hawai'i everyday: A 37-year-old girl from Orange County, Calif., with dyed platinum blond hair leading a sold-out Blaisdell Arena crowd in the chant, "This (expletive) is bananas ... b-a-n-a-n-a-s!"
Sure, it paints a picture, but my first image is of Gwen Stefani tossing her hair around back and forth to lead a crowd in chant like an orchestra conductor, until I realize that the subject of the sentence is supposed to be the 37-year-old "girl" and not her hair. Although maybe I'm just being overly picky.
But the real zinger for me was the closing sentence, which I think should definitely be paid special attention, since it is a feature story and not a news story: "Until she returns to Hawai'i with No Doubt — writer crosses his fingers here — this would have to do."
First of all, the verb tense is not consistent. Until she returns, this will have to do. Second of all, since the "writer" consistently uses "I" throughout the article, why suddenly switch to the third person? It makes it seem like he's got some kind of split personality disorder. And I don't even think I would keep the random interjection there in the first place. It only tells me, the reader, that this writer seems to be a Stefani fanboy, although he spends the majority of the second half of the article criticizing aspects of her performance.
And why does he use the word "culled" twice in the article? Did his friend give him a 365 SAT Words page-a-day calendar for Christmas or something?
Anyway, so those are the things that particularly bothered me in this article.
Oh, and this is entirely unrelated, but why the heck do the articles in Advertiser's website always have random title tags that don't match the article? They seem to change from day to day, too, so that when you bookmark them, you get one random title as the default bookmark name, and then when you access the URL later, it's a completely different, yet still incorrect, title. For instance, when I bookmarked this article, the title tag (seen at the top of your browser window) was, "Bill would violate Constitution, create dangerous division", and now it says, "Okinawan culture taking center stage" (don't you love the random capitalization, too?). My guess is that by the time you guys click on the article, it'll be an entirely different title.
Man I wish they'd hire me for their web team. ;)
ETA: I only realized now that in the lede where it says, "Add this to the list of things you don't see in Hawai'i everyday...", it says everyday and not every *space* day. I guess it was a crash and burn from the beginning, huh? Haha, I'm only kidding. But that is another error. :P
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Hello, everyone. This is a quote from a short editorial in Tuesday's Advertiser titled Many helped in effort to fight Wailua fire: “This dynamic fire evolved daily, and was fueled by dry and windy conditions, which created havoc and dangerous conditions for firefighters and threatened nearby homes. In the end, residential areas were protected, the fire was contained and injuries were minimized.” I see a number of problems here, beginning with the adjective “dynamic”. Does anyone really think of a wildfire as being static? Probably not, so there's no need to remind us that it isn't. Havoc is similarly inherent to wildfires, and--in my opinion--the term is a bit too general to warrant being used in an article without some further description or quantification (e.g. “the fire caused such havoc that even Godzilla was trampled while trying to escape”). To finish the first sentence off, there are four “ands” in the sentence, and the word “conditions” occurs twice in rapid succession. Thankfully the second sentence is a lot better, but I'd still switch around the order of the clauses to give them a more logical sense of progression. My shot at rewriting it looks like this: “This fire, fueled by dry and windy conditions, grew stronger daily until it threatened the safety of both firefighters and nearby homes. In the end, the fire was contained, residential areas were protected and injuries were minimized.” If you haven't fallen asleep yet, then thanks for reading and I'll see you on Friday.
According to CliffsStudySolver™ English Grammar, misplaced modifiers are words or phrases that when read in the context of a sentence lend confusion, not clarity, to the meaning. Here is an example:
Incorrect: Having entered the theatre, the smell of popcorn overwhelmed us.
(The smell of popcorn entered the theatre?)
Monday, August 27, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
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