Sunday, April 22, 2007

Washington Post Editor Returns to Newsroom Gofer

This fellow’s writing makes one wonder how he rose to editor’s chair.

The wretch writes below his pay grade.

Is he some Pooh-bah’s brother-in-law?

Grammargrinch recommendation: he goes back to gofer until he passes remedial English.

Trouble at the World Bank

Beware a rush to judgment over the Wolfowitz pay flap.

Sunday, April 22, 2007; Page B06

The committee agreed that a conflict existed, but it said that could probably be solved only by Ms. Riza leaving the bank, either permanently or on loan to another agency. 30 words

Pronoun antecedent missing; passive verb; wordy: “The committee agreed that the conflict’s solution was Ms. Riza’s leaving the bank or going on loan to another agency.” 20 words

“Ms. Riza’s leaving the bank”: possessive before a gerund

So when Mr. Wolfowitz dictated her new terms of employment he was responding in part to the committee's instructions.

Comma after “employment”: introductory adverbial clause; “was responding”=”responded”: past, not progressive, tense

Further raises were intended to be equal to what she might have earned had she stayed at the bank, responding to the committee's advice that she receive "compensation to offset negative career impact" from her reassignment. 36 words

Dangling modifier; passive verb; murky, wordy sentence

To offset negative impact from her assignment, the committee advised making her raises equal to what she might have earned had she stayed at the bank. 26 words

Once again it found, "on the basis of a careful review," that the allegations "do not appear to pose ethical issues appropriate for further consideration by the Committee."

No comma to blend in a phrase; clumsy blend of pieces of quote: “The committee ruled that ‘on the basis of a careful review,` the allegations ‘do not…Committee.`”

Before any such decisions are made, though, we hope the executive directors will lay out all the facts, and not just those that suit Mr. Wolfowitz's detractors.

Pussyfooting passive verb: “Before the committee makes such decisions…”


Anonymous Livia said...

You write very well.

3:07 PM  

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