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Words you write, but sense you make not

Picture 4

What on Earth does this mean? Said to be shopping? Said "shopping About.com"? What?

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  • http://digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    It's American.

    “I shall write to my MP” -> “I will write my congressman”
    “I have a hundred and one reasons to do so” -> “I have hundred one reasons”
    “The Times Newspaper has been said to be shopping it's company “About.com' around prospective purchasers” – > “Times said shopping About.com”

  • http://digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    erratum: its

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk ianbetteridge

    It's too much of a contraction even for an American headline. With American headlines you often get contraction with inserted commas, and of course they regularly turn verbs into nouns (don't get me started on that…)

    But in those cases, the meaning of the sentence is preserved. In this case, it's such a big contraction that it no longer makes sense even in US English.

  • http://digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    Maybe it's such a severe contraction that it only makes sense to Americans, i.e. it can no longer be parsed by Britons (except by prolonged study and elimination of nonsensical alternative expansions).

    There's a lot of redundancy in English. It seems the Americans feel the language is improved by eliminating it, when, as most linguists know, the redundancy is actually an improvement.

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk ianbetteridge

    Insert long rambling essay about the decline of the English language and how it wasn't like this in my day here :)

  • http://digitalproductions.co.uk Crosbie Fitch

    I will consider your rambling essay, no doubt interesting and agreeable, inserted.

    Incidentally, a redundancy I wholeheartedly support the elimination of is the way gender infects the French language, even when applied to non-mating objects – something that makes learning French such a pain.

    I can just about put up with ships being female in English.

  • Wes

    You must complain about Variety headlines, too…

    Would “Times may Shop About.com” sound better? Or maybe “Times Said to Sell About.com”?

  • http://www.technovia.co.uk ianbetteridge

    Oh god, don't get me started on Variety. Possibly the worst-written publication in the world. Someone should tell them that “prexy” is not a word.

    And maybe what they need is a few more superfluous Capital Letters, Too?

  • sr

    Why not just “Times shopping About.com”? The word “said” is unnecessary and adds nothing.

  • sr

    Or “Times to Shop About.com”