or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Not everything that shows up my radar screen qualifies as a mistake, exactly. Sometimes it's just something that 1) uses the English language badly and therefore 2) pisses me off. Here's the headline and the first paragraph from a story on the front page of the local paper, the Moncton Times & Transcript:

A trim off the side from out-of-control car
A Champlain Street barbershop had a close shave yesterday when a vehicle slammed into the front of the small building.

The writer and the headline writer--probably two different people--felt they had to use some weak barbershop-related pun, which is a terrible idea in itself, but then they both proceeded to get it wrong. The headline suggests that the car hit the side of the building, when it hit the front: the first clause in the first paragraph suggests that the car didn't hit the building at all, because "a close shave" means "a narrow escape", which is to say "something bad that almost happened, but then didn't", when in fact there wasn't anything of the sort--the bad thing did happen, because the car hit and damaged the building.

Is this what they're teaching in J-school these days?


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