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Monday, August 29, 2005

A Wall, Not A Slumgullion

I found today's NYT article by Anne Kornblut about John Roberts's apparent obsession with grammar and style disappointing: most of the examples she cites are actually basic issues (parallel construction, precision, etc) in writing.

But then I read the NYT Editorial entitled Free Judy Miller, whose first sentence is
The New York Times reporter Judith Miller has now been in jail longer for refusing to testify than any reporter working for a newspaper in America.
Evidently basic writing skills elude the Times's editorial writers: Judy Miller is a reporter (so the NYT tells us, anyway). She works for a newspaper in America (the NYT). Therefore she cannot have been "in jail longer...than any reporter working for a newspaper in America," any more than 1 can be greater than 1.

I guess that division between the news and editorial desks really is a wall and not just a thin stew


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