Friday, April 22

Syntax Matters

Army Clears Top Abu Ghraib Case Officers:
The Army has cleared four top officers ? including the three-star general who commanded all U.S. forces in Iraq ? of all allegations of wrongdoing in connection with prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and will not be punished, officials said Friday.

Parse the syntax of that sentence carefully and you discover an interesting, if unintended, implication: The Army will not be punished for clearing four top officers of wrongdoing in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse matter.

Probably true. See what happens when you bypass the copy desk, or hire the cheapest, most junior people you can get? The text develops a rebellious Oulipean unconscious.

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1/21/2006 06:12:00 am  

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