Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sloppy Writing or Editing

I'm going to go out on a limb here and point out a couple of irritating bits of writing in the article on Marshal Seymour in Friday's edition of The Ledger. I say "going out on a limb" because I am a writer, and I make mistakes too. But just as I want people to tell me when I've made one (it makes me a better writer) I feel The Ledger reporters and/or editors ought to know when they've written something that bugs me.

And for all of you college journalism/PR students out there, as well as you freelance writers, use this as a wake-up call to pay attention to your writing. Once the paper is printed, you can't unring that bell.

Irritating writing example #1- "A Lakeland businessman who said he met Seymour through the church, Steve Sloan, also testified Thursday..."

That is incredibly awkward, in my opinion. I think it would have been better to write, "Steve Sloan, a Lakeland businessman who said he met Seymour through the church, also testified Thursday..."

Irritating writing example #2- "After court, Canady said of his son-in-law's arrest, 'It's a railroad job in a lot of ways.' He claimed Lakeland police were trying to pressure his wife to divorce Seymour."

Now if you don't see something that's just plain wrong here, go back and reread it. The way that second sentence is written, the writer is saying that Lakeland police were trying to pressure Canady's wife to divorce Seymour. I know the sentence is supposed to mean that Canady said Lakeland police were trying to pressure Seymour's wife to divorce her husband, Marshal Seymour. But that's certainly not the way it was written.

1 comment:

Chuck Welch said...

Welcome to LUAC....

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