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Am I The Only One?

Monday, December 06, 2004

Use of Explosives Results in Explosion

This will probably qualify for "poor taste blog of the day", but I couldn't help notice the wording in today's AP story "U.S. Consulate Attacked in Saudi Arabia":
"Smoke rises following an explosion in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Monday, Dec. 6, 2004, after Islamic militants, attacked the heavily guarded U.S. consulate in Jiddah with explosives and machine guns on Monday in a explosion and gunbattle that left seven people dead and several others injured."

So the attack with explosives resulted in "a explosion" [sic]? An attack with machine guns apparently involved a "gunbattle" [sic]. I think the misplaced participle, invented word, and repetitive wording is an example of the "first to publish" pressure which seemingly bypasses copy editors.

Update: the article quoted above has now been edited. The repetitive phrasing is gone, but we are still seeing the invented non-word "gunbattle":
"Islamic militants threw explosives at the gate of the heavily guarded U.S. consulate in Jiddah in a bold attack Monday, then forced their way into the building and held civilians at gunpoint, prompting a gunbattle."

Further Update: The article has now been replaced with a new and better-written article:
"Muslim militants stormed the heavily fortified U.S. consulate in Jeddah on Monday, killing five non-American staffers, before Saudi forces shot dead three attackers and captured two to regain control."

This is a great example of why copy editors are still relevant.


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