Thursday, March 09, 2006

The New York Time's?

At first I just thought I was going insane. (And it's always important, at such moments, to take stock and really have a good long think before proceeding.) Turns out I wasn't though - rather, The New York Times, that great bastion of Western journalism, just can't punctuate their own articles.

For perhaps the third time in the last couple of weeks or so, I've come across an article with a reference to a decade (like this example - "First came an economic opening in the 1980's under the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet") which has an apostrophe incorrectly added to the unfortunate word, as if somehow "the 1980" was in ownership of something called the "under the dictatorship...". Which, clearly, doesn't make sense.

It's not like the world's going to fall apart at the seams at this news, and I'm sure I make plenty of errors here, but come on, it's the New York-bloody-Times!

Strunk & White must be turning in their respective graves, and I can only imagine what Lynn Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and all round punctuation Nazi, would make of it all. And if you're struggling yourself, there's a good rundown of some of the hard and fast rules here, incidentally entitled "The apostrophe is the modern day Shibboleth" (cute).

This New York Times thing is no isolated incident. Are the proofreaders purposefully passing this over, under some misguided assumption that they can re(n)educate the world to the wicked ways of the extra apostrophe?

Or do they simply just not realise that they've totally buggered it up? Maybe this is a question I should be asking of the Times themselves... Watch this space.

8 comments:

Jill said...

I know I posted something quite shallow on kesher, but yes, it is a travesty that jessica simpson has massacred what was previously known only as a feminist anthem of sorts.

I don't give a fuck what people like jessica do really - i'm not overly sure she's the worst offender, which shouldn't exempt her from criticism...maybe i'm just too desensitised to the whole pop culture thing...but, i do think that if she had even a shred of artistic integrity, she wouldn't desecrate the very fibre of that song.

and i call myself an anti-feminist.

(p.s. I really like pandaobscura!)

Jill (again) said...

Sorry - so retarded, obviously that ^ is meant for your previous entry.

Bad punctuation in the Times is appalling.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

haha, you're not anal retentive are you? not at all.
but so true though, they shouldn't be stuffing simple punctuation up!

well, i'm looking forward to your next post, as i'm hoping that you did contact them about it.

keep it up!

Raz said...

I always thought putting apostrophes in decades was like disorientated....one of those dumb things that has been done so often by so many dumb people that it has morphed into the proper acceptable way to do it...

Renee said...

I know what career path you'll be heading down Brad... a critic. Better still for you, a film critic!

Anonymous said...

^^ Or maybe an editor ;)

-kat

pandaobscura said...

I've already done film critic and editor in my previous lives though, so I'll let them go for now (aside from moments of pedantry like this ;)

pandaobscura said...

BTW, thanks Jill :D

I wonder if there's a way that I can move your comment to the other post...