Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Someone Wrote This?

From Google News, I was reading this PC World article about a rejected iPhone application. I kept finding myself confused by the structure of various sentences in the article, until I finally I realized, "Hey, this isn't me; this article is terrible."

Seriously, someone wrote this for publication (even on the web)?

Excerpts, with comments:
A novelty, essentially harmless, iPhone and iPod app has been rejected from the Apple store...
This kind of stringing together of modifiers works in spoken but not (IMO) written English.
Bailout Bucks is a simple novelty app that lets you put your picture as the face of fake dollars bills, in large denominations, so not appear that you might be attempting a forgery.
Not only is the last bit missing a word or two, but the whole ending part of the sentence is...just not how you write English.
The work of The Codist, a computer programmer and iPhone app developer, Apple has rejected Bailout Bucks based on the view it "ridicules public figures" or could do if it every [sic] saw the light of day.
Apple is the work of The Codist? Wait, what? (Yes, this is a slightly pedantic point, but I still found the sentence more than averagely difficult to read.)
The Codist goes on to question how the approval process works, is rejection down to one individuals understanding of Apple's terms and conditions, does personal taste ultimately decide what is in or out, and what supervisory level, if any, checks the process is fair and consistent.
Did someone dictate this over the phone, intending it to be the outline of a story someone else would write, only to see it published as dictated? How does this type of sentence come to exist in an article?

You would think that, given the overabundance of people with degrees in journalism, English, etc., even a lowly job like this one would be staffed by someone who could write grammatically.

1 comment:

Sally said...

I would like to think it was either phoned in as you say and mangled by some admin who put the final article together or written by the same (non-native-English-speaking) person who writes the instructions for how to put a piece of cheap furniture together.