Monday, July 11, 2005

ESOL headline

In the Chattanooga Times Free Press edition of Monday, 11 July 2005, there are two headlines on above-the-fold stories.
The big one, on the hurricane story, says, "Dennis menaces Gulf Coast."
Ha ha.
By the time the paper hit front yards (late for many if not most of its subscribers because of a tacky advertisement* stuck on the front page; the sticker creates problems in the paper's machinery and carriers don't get the paper for as much as an hour or more later than the usual time), the hurricane had moved far north of the Gulf Coast and was, in fact, pouring rain onto Chattanooga and environs.
The second head says, "Closing sock mills hurt immigrants."
Hmmmm. I've pondered and puzzled over this and finally concluded ...
Well, first, let's analyze just what it says: The mills are harming immigrants.
Even though they're closing, they hurt people, though apparently just immigrants.
How can that be? If the mills were, say, polluting the atmosphere with smoke, then they'd be hurting everyone.
Most likely, though, that isn't what was intended.
The subject, "closing," needs a verb in agreement (as do all nouns), and in this case "hurts" would be correct.
The story is a follow-up of one in the previous day's edition and contains what is surely unintended irony. A man who had come from somewhere in Central America became unemployed after the sock mill at which he had worked departed for Honduras.
Fort Payne, Alabama, is now more famous for its singers and "singers" than for its industrial base.
But isn't most of the United States now generally barren of industry?
And that is another subject for another blog.
Our subject continues to be, Why can't "editors" edit? Why can't they learn correct grammar?

*Putting advertisements on the front page is (also) another subject entirely. Essentially, though, it is a low-class thing to do and merely accentuates the concept that "news"papers are mostly, really advertising media, not news media.

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