Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Courtesy Too Far For Billboard Bonehead?

Journalists' traditional practice has been to polish quotations -- revising poor grammar, for example. The benefits range from avoiding alienation (or embarrassment) of sources to creation of better-reading copy.

The Post-Gazette's Cutting Edger today provides an example, however, of when the customary courtesy seems inappropriate, by "quoting" a billboard:
"Flight 93 -- Born Heroes -- Gave Their Lives to Save Lives / Life is a Precious Gift -- Save God's Unborn Heroes -- America Must End the Terror of Abortion."
That is not, however, what the billboard's author wrote. This is:
Flight 93
Born Hero's
Gave Their Lives To Save Lives
Life Is A Precious Gift
Save God's Unborn Hero's
America Must End The Terror Of Abortion
The author made a grade-school mistake, made it twice, made it in writing, and placed it on a billboard. Plus, some readers might wish to know that the formulator of that billboard's message lacks a seventh-grade education. In this case, accuracy seems more important than courtesy.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Whatever happened to using [sic]?