Friday, July 20, 2007

'Insult . . . (to) Injury'

I see this sort of punctuation way too often:
The study said the redevelopment plan "lacks imagination . . . (and) will cost more than the city is projecting."
Ellipses suck. Inserts in quotes suck. So hey, kids, let's go out of our way to do both!

If you're introducing a break in the quote anyway, why in the world would you shoehorn a word in with parentheses or brackets right at that breaking point? You'd have to really, really hate partial quotes not to do it this way:
The study said the redevelopment plan "lacks imagination" and "will cost more than the city is projecting."

2 comments: said...

That sounds like my local paper, the infamous Laramie Boomerang.

Their "journalists" take people off the street and have them talk into a tape recorder. Then they just do a straight transcription of the stuff.

They often write entire articles in quotation form, and they stretch to insert any additional information into the quotes, rather than doing any grafs of their own.

I can never seem to find good examples of their stuff when I need them, but here are a couple of filled-out quotes from a recent article:

"The show has grown into something that really (garners community support)," Shirley Lilley, Kids' Horse Show committee director said.

"The whole thing is put on by donations. It isn't financed by any one organization. Everybody collectively (supports the races)."

jdoogan said...

I was concerned when I heard of the death of (running back) Bill Walsh. I'm happy to say that...(I) still have a blog to read!