Thursday, May 14, 2009

Did I just read that?

Most of these are not outright guffaws, but they all came from THE SAME newspaper today. First, the headlines:

On the front page: "Survey links economy to hard times for many"

Also on the front page: "Public, private schools feel financial pressure from economy"
"Official says trauma can affect performance"

"Group to Welcome Signs of the Zodiac Author" (any little footprint would be welcome...)

"Romance Author to Discuss Backstory with Cactus Rose" (she has a backstory involving a cactus?)

"Study: Men the worst smelling gender, and women can definitely notice" (this is news?) (Oh, and the women can notice, but don't always?)

"Although it makes us fat, fast food makes us happy, study says"

Love the spelling here: "USC Study Sayd Folic Acid Supplements Increase Risk of Prostate Cancer"

"Smoking Pot makes you more accident prone behind the wheel" (This is news?)
And the first line: "Guys: you may think smoking pot makes you look cool. But in actuality, it just make a stumbling dude who gets into more accidents." (Eh? English your second language?)

"Men are the fragile sex when it comes to birth, study says."
The article goes on to say, "Turns out, baby boys cause a lot more damage than baby girls," not that they themselves are fragile. (And damage to what? The living room? the windows?) The article cites this wonderful bit of confusing wordiness: "...male babies were more likely to end up being born prematurely and rupture mom's embryonic sac." (How did they do that, especially after they were born prematurely, and even more especially since they were obviously not around when mom was in her own _amniotic_ sac? And the next sentence: "Researchers likened these birthing complications to similar problems men face their entire lives." (Men face prematurity and breaking their mom's amniotic sac their whole lives? Fascinating. I'd like to know how they do that? Or do they mean what they said, that they have problems with birthing, which means "giving birth", not "being born"? So men tend to give birth to their own mothers and break their mystical embryonic sacs in the process?)

And this whole article had problems, separate from the unbelievable wordiness (it's like they used the longest, most convoluted way to say anything):
"Study says red meat and processed meat may affect death rate" (so you don't die _ever_ if you don't eat it?).

And the article had these enlightening sentences (keep in mind that death is not an optional part of life as you read these):
"It's a fact. Men love their red meat. A new fact for the equation--that red meat may be bad for you." (Okay, but there was no equation mentioned in the first line, and that was the beginning of the article....)
"Men who eat more processed meat may have an increased risk of death because of meat-related complications like cancer and heart disease." (I think they meant "from", not "because of"--and I'm not sure how cancer or heart disease are "meat-related" or "complications"--complications to what, life? Oy--the whole sentence needs a doctor.)
"While processed meats and red meats seemed to have had a negative effect on participants in the study, white meat was actually believed to be a decreased risk for death."
"The participants were between the ages of 50 and 71 years old during the beginning of the study." (I think they meant "at", not "during." Those little words can really trip you up.)
"They were then followed for 10 years and researchers tracked who died from what in hopes to make correlation between the peoples' diet and their rate of death." (Death to the People! Oh, wait--maybe this wasn't supposed to be a marxist "the people". I might be mistaken, but "the people" is not the same thing as "people", and _people_ all have different _diets_, and the usual rate of death is 100%. You know, it's that other inevitable thing beside taxes.)
"Researchers found that the 20 percent who ate the most red meat had the highest overall risk for death, due in part of heart disease and cancer." (Huh? There's those little words again, causing a ruckus. And, again, the risk of death...there is no risk of death in general. It's a certainty. I believe this sentence was supposed to read, "....ate the most meat had the highest risk of death from heart disease or cancer.")
"Researchers said that about 11 percent of deaths in men could be avoided yearly if they cut back on their consumption of red and processed meats." So 11 percent of men can avoid dying every year? "Deaths in men" is a funny phrase, in an of itself. Like there are many kinds of death? Causes, yes. But deaths? And who does that "they" refer to, the researchers? The Deaths? WHO is supposed to cut back on their consumption of red and processed meats?

Of the 12 sentences in the article, 9 had major problems that ANY copyeditor, even one from a high school paper, would have caught.

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