Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Game Film Week 4

Parentheses vs. Brackets
This came up in class. You normally use parentheses (99.999% of the time) when you are inserting info.  You would use a bracket (and this is rare [but it could happen]) when you want to insert a parentheses inside a parentheses.

Word Usage
John James Johnson, 27, died instantly,
John James Johnson, 27, was killed instantly,
I like to say that all words carry freight – some more than others. In this case – do you see how “was killed” could imply that someone killed him – which is why I would suggest the much more neutral “died.”

Punctuation and Pronoun Agreement and Capitalization
Armey would not speculate on the reason for Johnson’s death and the Police Department said they would refer any questions to the District Attorney. think about it

Essential or Non-Essential
An accused drug dealer, who had just been arrested and handcuffed by police, fell from the 10th-floor balcony of his hotel room Friday morning.  The writer here is saying that this clause is nonessential – which can be argued is true. But this is one of those areas where the very relevance of this info is so important to the lede and story that I would make it essential and remove the commas.

Support for Lead or Hed
A man jumped to his death from the 10th floor balcony of his hotel room early Friday morning after being arrested and handcuffed by the police.  Did he jump? With headlines and leads we always need to ensure the text of story supports the hed or lede.

Which is correct?
1.   a 3-foot wide patio
2.   a 3-foot-wide patio
3.   a 3-feet wide patio
4.   a 3-feet-wide patio
5.   a 3 foot wide patio
6.   a 3 foot wide patio

AP Style
Which is correct?
1.   Johnson had sold 3 ounces of cocaine
2.   Johnson had sold 3 ozs. of cocaine
3.   Johnson had sold three ozs. of cocaine
4.   Johnson had sold three ounces of cocaine

See link on Sequence of Tenses

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