"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Headline clinic
As a professional word-using and language-rearranging guy I'm often called upon to listen to Japanese explain to me what the nuances of various English words are and why my 40+ years of speaking and writing my native tongue cannot possibly equal the fact that they went to a very famous Japanese university. Despite this, I still have yet to be arrested for assault and battery with a dictionary, so clearly I am a patient person. However, I am losing patience with my colleagues at CTV and Canadian Press. They seem to consistently grab the wrong end of the stick when reporting on political matters. Now I have to fix their headlines and copy too.

Departure of Tory strategist-- leaves 'massive hole leaves'
Updated Thu. Feb. 5 2009 6:53 PM ET
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA -- He was considered so critical to Stephen Harper's success that mere chatter about a possible election once forced him to cut short his honeymoon -- leaving his new bride alone in Japan.
Now Patrick Muttart is leaving Canadian politics.
The rarely seen, never-heard political strategist who left his stamp on the TV ads the Tories ran, the tax cuts they introduced, the slogans they uttered, and on their strategy for defending Canada's Arctic, has informed colleagues of his exit.
His objectives were consistent: win overconvince the middle class to screw themselves, use consistent messages and images to create a branddo whatever Karl Rove would do, and make the Conservatives the party of Canadian patriotism mouthbreathing knuckledraggers.
Publicly, his colleagues were loath to assess the impact of his departure. Privately, they said his influence was incalculable.
"This leaves a massive hole," said one government official.
"He taught the conservative movement in Canada how to win electionslie, cheat and steal again."
Friends expect that Muttart and his American wife may leave for the United Statescrawl back into the slime from whence they came, a place with myriad opportunities for a conservative political operative with a winning track record who is willing to lie, villify, cheat, and generally throw mud in ways that would embarass Joe McCarthy.

And if it is further thoughts on language that you seek from the perspective of one who uses a lot of it, you can do no better than this.