D.C. bonus: AA is an organization for drunks, not a county in Maryland. (And I meant District of Columbia, not DaimlerChrysler.)
This doesn't mean we need to reproduce every um, every er, every cough; it doesn't mean a reporter's transcription errors can't be corrected; and it certainly doesn't mean that stories should attempt to re-create dialect (plenty of literate people pronounce should have as "should of"). But it does mean that a reader should be able to watch a TV interview and read the same interview in the newspaper and not notice discrepancies in word choice.
"That document, that's the smoking gun," the source said.
"From the beginning, the company has acknowledged wrongdoing and we’re going to have to take responsibility for our actions," he said.If you're tempted to put a comma before that "and," hold on. The comma belongs there if the speaker is asserting that the company must take responsibility. It doesn't belong there if, as is more likely, he is listing that as one of two things the company has acknowledged. He may indeed agree with the assertion, but in the context of this sentence he's saying "The company has acknowledged a and b," not "The company has acknowledged a, and I would like to add b." Sometimes an independent clause is a tad on the dependent side.
According to industry executives and analysts, the management strategy that made Dell a successful computer company could do the same for the fast-food chain.The fast-food chain wants to become a successful computer company? No.
In the players' box was Tony Nadal, the uncle and coach of Rafael Nadal since he started playing as a youngster.Tony didn't become Rafael's uncle until Rafael started playing tennis? No.
Members of the platoon testified that they punched, kicked and struck the detainee with their rifles.They punched him with their rifles and kicked them with their rifles? No.
Unlike the Middle Ages, when books were made of parchment so expensive that they were mainly for the wealthy, papyrus was more accessible to members of all classes.Papyrus was unlike the Middle Ages? Well, yes, but . . .