21 February 2012

I sentence this sentence!

"An Indian court has remanded two members of an Italian navy security team accused in the fatal shooting of two fishermen in custody for two weeks."
— lead sentence of today's BBC story India court keeps Italian navy guards in 14-day custody

Does this save it?
An Indian court has ordered 14 days of judicial custody for two members of an Italian navy security team accused in the fatal shooting of two fisherman.

What's your suggestion?

Have you also noticed that the adjectival form is hit and/or miss whatever, when it comes to the non-pukka nations?

Reuters should make headlines for their headlines.
Here are two beauties:
Mexico court approves Vitro restructuring plan
Lead sentence:
A Mexican court approves ...

Turkey court frees 22 after anti-government protest
Later in the story:
Police raided their houses and found left-wing tracts and pictures of executed Turkish leftists.
A related story listed below that one, also Reuters, is:
Turkish court agrees to try former top general
Anything goes!

In contrast, see if you can find the same sort of treatment for "America court".
I couldn't. Even the Times of India is — what? Old-fashioned, stick-in-the-mud pedantic?

But then, if you were interested in English, you would be brave to venture into the BBC with its
"Easy tiger!" lesson which includes "Hi Helen I like your hair." (Was the punctuation shot?)

Instead, I recommend S. Upendran at The Hindu, and Jose A. Carillo at The Manila Times and his English language forum.

"Next, make yourself thoroughly familiar with the various tools of English for putting words together into grammatically and structurally correct, coherent, and clear statements. Don’t be content with just being knowledgeable with the English content words—the nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and interjections. You absolutely need to master the rules for using them, but always remember that they only work as carriers of the meaning that reside in each of them."
— Jose A. Carillo, in answer to "A letter from a Filipino freelance writer in New Zealand"


budak said...

hmm, i am afraid the post is lost on me, although i suspect it has something to do with the way hardboiled subeditors write, which in my experience makes for very stale reading the morning after.

anna tambour said...

I might be lost up my own fundamental, being persnickity over English being mauled till it's difficult to know what is being said, and when it comes to culture, that it just doesn't matter about getting anything right. To these authors who think Turkey is an adjective whenever they couldn't be bothered to use the real one, I recommend the cup that gobbles all the way home: Turkey coffee.

but then possibly, language smanguage.

kiy1955 said...

nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and interjections~ ~~ Oh my~~~~~~

JP said...

Another ploy employed by Indian headline writers which annoys me a lot is the substitution of 'varsity' for 'university'. Apparently this is acceptable usage in Britain, Australia and NZ but for once I have to strike back at the Empire and point out that 'Uni' is a more natural contraction and one that doesn't require you to forget how the original word was actually spelled.

budak said...

ah I see. headlines are lost on me as well, for I have long ceased to take notice of them.

JP said...

Good for you?

anna tambour said...

I agree with JP, for sanity's sake as well as keeping your mind less cluttered with garbage.

As for 'nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and interjections~ ~~ Oh my~~~~~~', you might scoff. You can afford to, having a finely tuned ear for what sounds right, and having done your own sifting of wheat from chaff about what 'right' is, so that now you can toss words and meaning like a master chef. When people can learn language painlessly by example, they don't have to learn it by rule.

But many people learn their language from the media, which is confused aplenty, even in the towers of London's Financial Times.

See these two recent FT articles:

Jude Webb's story of Jan 24, Argentina to Greek investors: sometimes it pays to take a haircut
and the one with the headline
China investors set their sites on Hollywood by Kathrin Hille and Matthew Garrahan. Whoever wrote the headline seems to be at odds with the story, which talks about Chinese investors wanting to buy into Hollywood.

In fact, the story keeps referring to Chinese this and that as an adjective. So I guess this means that the article wasn't about anyone who had invested in China at all.

and though there are many finance-media stories today voicing worry about the fortunes of "Greek investors", I don't think a single story has shed a stone's tear about people who are Greek with savings in the bank. Only this story in the Spiegel speaks about their crisis: Anxious Greeks emptying out their bank accounts

Feeling the Banks' Pain
As article states in a sub-head, "Bank Withdrawals Worsening Crisis"