Thursday, February 28, 2008
Barack Obama, Illinois senator? Well, he was, but now he's a U.S. senator! OK, OK, OK -- this is a story about pedantry and the all-sorts-of-different lines that can be drawn in its name, and I'm just telling you where I stand. I try to avoid "Illinois senator" and "New York senator" in references to Obama and Hillary Clinton. There, I said it, though I grant that I would never use "Illinois senator" or "New York senator" alone to refer to a state senator. Call it a nicety, one of those let's-be-absolutely-clear gestures that only a copy editor would make. Of course, the natural alternative -- "senator from Illinois" -- has its own problems if you're a true pedant. Obama isn't from Illinois (but Clinton is). Still, I say OK to the latter idiom but not, except under duress, to the former idiom. Such is the delicate balance a copy editor must strike.
Posted by Bill at 1:44 AM