Toad in the Hole

May 11, 2005

More Journalism: Until the Twelfth of Never

This one is just One of Those Things. It's in a piece about the murder of two kids in Illinois. I can understand that the writer -- AP's Nicole Ziegler Dizon -- would be upset and enraged by the subject matter, but a copyeditor should have caught this odd infelicity.

The girls were found dead Monday in a park in Zion, the day after they never came back from a bike ride.

Maybe "failed to come back" would work better, hm?

Posted at May 11, 2005 11:58 PM


Lesson #1 is copyeditors edit to the least letters possible, and there's almost no linguistic loophole they won't exploit to this end. Pleasant parsing just ain't a high priority.

Posted by: murky at May 23, 2005 11:15 PM

"copyeditors edit to the least letters possible"

Sometimes we do, with no other considerations, and that's a mistake that leaves the poor copy (and the writer) flapping foolishly in the breeze. I'd draw some comparison with leaving the gravel in the beans to fill the pot as fast as possible, but that way lies the Dread Mire of Mashed Metaphors, and madness.

Posted by: Ron at May 25, 2005 12:46 AM