Can I [quote] you on that?

Can we talk? Newspaper quotes specifically.

We’ve all seen it when a person leaves a word out or uses a pronoun when speaking to reporters and the editors then edit the remarks for clarity.

A totally made up example: “Getting him out of the couch once we discovered him there was pretty easy” becomes “Getting [the suspect] out of the couch . . .”

You know what I’m talking about right?

Okay, so today’s Post-Gazette quotes Heather Arnet, executive director of The Women and Girls Foundation of SWPA as saying

What we want to do is see how to effect [systemic] change so this doesn’t keep happening.

Huh? What the hell word is [systemic] replacing?

I’d like to think she totally screwed the word up and said something like “sysitemic” or “sysemic” or “exsysemic” and the editor didn’t want to embarrass her. Hey, if I was editing the Post-Gazette you can be damn sure that line would have read

What we want to do is see how to effect sysitemic (sic: haha!) change so this doesn’t keep happening.

Another possibility is that she just lost all tact and said

What we want to do is see how to effect some effing change so this doesn’t keep happening.

Awesome.





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