Bits O' Bull No. 396!
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 96 11:21:30 -0700
Subject: Bits O' Bull No. 396!
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mike Linksvayer)
Excerpted-from: BONG Bull No. 396!
BOY IS YOU GUYS STUPID. Or, the neverending and thankless work of the copy
editor. Andrew Denny of Over There writes, "I'm always cheered to read that
someone in America is supporting literacy, not just in print, but also
behind the scenes. Spare a thought for those of us in Airstrip One who
aren't permitted to point out malapropisms and solecisms, even those in
print, on the grounds that the language changes anyway so it's incorrect to
"I notice a lot of Brit politicians are reported as 'refuting'
accusations, when they only appear to have rejected or rebutted them. Bill
Clinton was recently reported as being 'a shoe-in' at the election (foot
fetishism - now there's a line to investigate), 'may' is confused with
'might,' and ... oh, damn, prompt me darling, I've dried.... but there are
plenty, and they turn up on BBC prime time and in the august pages of
"Some of this stuff is now being listed in the OED as legitimate usage.
BONGers who complain about the change in technology are missing the point:
It's the change in language which disorientates most."
How about this example, Andrew: "The urban schools' population is 72
percent minority." This implies a 28 percent majority, which is plainly
untenable. The word "minority," conveying the lovely combination of
oppressed and little and helpless, still appears in reportage even when it
is in fact the majority being depicted. It is not politically correct to
challenge this particular misuse, even when it becomes truly absurd, as in
"The jury was composed of five whites and seven minorities."
An active promoter of more lovely distant management retreats, BONG Chief
Copyboy Charley Stough, Dayton Daily News, 45 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, Ohio
45401 salutes NYTNS buglers worldwide. Phone (937) 225-2445 after 5 p.m.
eastern. E-mail email@example.com. Fax 225-2489.
© 1996 Peter Langston