Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thud

In today’s episode of “After Deadline”, the New York Times presents the following headline:

“Bomber Attacks G.I.’s Meeting With Baquba Officials”

They go on to say:

“This headline could be read two ways, in part because our style is to use an apostrophe in plurals of certain abbreviations, like this one. Readers might take ‘meeting’ as a noun (in origin, a gerund), and think that a meeting between a single G.I. and Baquba officials was attacked. In fact, ‘meeting’ was intended as a participle, modifying the plural noun ‘G.I.’s.’”

Interesting.

Generally, the Man-Bunny Matrix considers using an apostrophe in pluralizing acronyms to be insane. More importantly, does no one else interpret the above headline to be reporting an aerial assault using laser-guided bureaucrats?

Furthermore: “…our style is to use an apostrophe in plurals of certain abbreviations, like this one...”

Try reading that sentence out loud without sounding drunk. Clearly, if it were recast to read, “…our [dumb] style is to use an apostrophe in pluralizing certain abbreviations…” this would have opened the irony pressure-release valve, making for a less ridiculous sentence within an otherwise coherent examination of ridiculous sentences.

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