Saturday, January 5, 2008

This doesn't pass mustard

Big headline on Vicad sports section today reads 'Rough Road to Hoe.' Just to make sure we get it, there's an underscore of stylized two-lane blacktop beneath the words 'Rough Road.' I expect any road would be pretty rough to hoe, being at least caliche, or, worse yet, concrete or asphalt. Tough hoeing, roads. What we have here is a copy editor using a cliché and misunderstanding the cliché. They've also been know to pass mustard and tow the line. The only excuse for a cliché is its familiarity. If you get it wrong, you really embarrass yourself. In this case, someone had never looked down a garden row that needed weeding and thought 'That's a rough row to hoe.' Well, as herself remarked, at least they got the 'e' on 'hoe.'
An outtake quote on a recent front page consisted of maybe a dozen words, with two or three rendered in red ink instead of black and a couple, three in a larger type size. No apparent reason for any of that except the intellectual limitations of graphics people, who incline to regard words as just another element to be manipulated in any manner that the graphics person finds visually appealing. For graphics people, words have no inherent meaning or value; that's why you'll find text scattered across photos, completely unreadable.

1 comment:

Sugar Magnolia said...

Preach on, Brother Loon, preach on. Or is that a cliche, also? Whoops. My bad. Well, there I go again. Hey, at least my pitiful writing is not done under the guise of a professional journalist or editor (haha, yea, right) working for such a wonderful newspaper. The VicAd should be ashamed. Unfortunately, that won't be happening anytime soon, I'm afraid. Keep 'em coming. I can't wait for more!