Monday, November 27, 2006

Crazy quote

At first I thought it was going to be difficult to find something to mention in this blog. I was reading the November 20 edition of The Sunflower, however, and I found a quote I can't believe. The story the quote ran in is called, "Students want more time in Elliott labs," and is on the front page.

"Sometimes it's like, man, if I could just work for another hour, but then they come in and kick you out," he said.

Wow. I can't beleive it. I've read it five times and I still can't believe it. What kind of quote is that? I bet it would have been possible to pull more sense out of that interviewee than that, especially if that interviewee is part of Studio B, as the article says. Rawson should know how to construct a better sound byte than that.

The rest of the article is all right. There are a few grammatical errors, of course, but it sounds all right. It is so easy in journalism to make people sound stupid. If you want to do that, all you have to do is quote them exaclty, leaving in every "um" "like" and "man." I thought there was an unwritten rule (maybe it's a written rule, I don't know because I can't find it in me to read my textbooks) that journalists should cut out the phrases and words that bear no meaning in a given sentence. What did this quote mean? It meant: Rawson sometimes wants to work for another hour, but is kicked out before his work is finished. If the quote sounds ridiculous, and this one does, then it should be trimmed or paraphrased.

As it is, it brings down the projected I.Q. of the interviewee, the reporter, the article, and the newspaper by a lot of points. If reporters didn't paraphrase and trim what our dear president says, he would sound far less intelligent than he sounds now. It is a matter of courtesty and professionalism, is it not?


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