Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Peculiar use of quotes make guard sound ... well, peculiar

In the print edition, the hed reads: Richardson makes 'them pay'

I don't know about you, but that quote usage is odd enough to make me wonder what he really said. I mean, all they quote is "them pay"? What was it? Something creepily specific or threatening? Something like "I intend to make my enemies pay. I intend to make each and every single one of them pay"?

Well no. In the story he's quoted as saying "Teams weren't really guarding me the last couple of years. And they haven't really been guarding me too much this year. I'm just trying to make them pay for it, to where it makes it easier for everybody else." Ah, now. I see. They couldn't figure out what to do with the missing S.

In the splash page for the GoVolsXtra, the hed is: Richardson makes them pay. No attribution of any of it to him.

Meanwhile, in the full the on-line story, the hed is: Josh Richardson was out to 'make them pay' in Tennessee's 87-52 win over Virginia.

I suppose  the second solution was far too long for the print edition. And the first one might make you wonder what the reporter thought Virginia was paying for. Their win last year? Probably. And that wasn't what the story was about at all.

You know, in Russian, with its manifold cases, they aren't the slightest bit afraid to take a quoted phrase and make it fit the syntax of the new sentence. If it was nominative, but is being used in a construction that needs the accusative or dative, they just make it accusative or dative. Maybe we need to give ourselves permission to add or remove that -S as needed.

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