Non Sequiturs + Other Quasi-Funny Stuff #12

UNINTENTIONAL HUMOR from the journalism realm: Actual excerpts from stories published on the Internet are in bold — but the all-caps headlines are mine.

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DEPARTMENT OF REDUNDANCY DEPARTMENT

After Tuesday’s game, [the coach] insisted that he wouldn’t change the roster, which produced just two goals in its first two games and was outscored 7-2.

By specifying that the overall score was 7-2, perhaps the writer makes it clear that the team produced just two goals. And perhaps I didn’t need to use the word perhaps.

Yes, let’s just streamline that phrase and move on, to wit: …which was outscored 7-2 in the first two games.

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THE PUZZLE OF THE UNBEATEN BOXER

Headline:
Denis Shafikov defeats unbeaten Jamel Herring by TKO

This is a classic head-scratcher — how could Herring be unbeaten after losing to Shafikov? Before you puzzle the riddle too long, though, consider that a key word is missing: previously.

As in: Denis Shafikov defeats previously unbeaten Jamel Herring

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THIS JUST IN

But they would have also led to hits — and when a quarterback in the NFL is hit, he exposes himself to potential injury.

Sometimes a statement is so obvious that one wonders whether it needs to be made. The above seems to me to be such a statement.

It’s like saying: Football is a contact sport and can cause injury.

Hold the presses!

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AGELESS WONDER

Tyron Smith is in his sixth year in the NFL, and he’s still only 25.

Wow, now that’s something — apparently Tyron Smith has been 25 years old throughout his six-year NFL career. After all, he’s still only 25!

Either Smith has discovered the Fountain of Youth, or one word needs to be deleted from the above sentence. Yes, you guessed it — still. So the revised phrase reads: … in his sixth year in the NFL, and he’s only 25.

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REDUNDANCY REDUX?

While fans chanted his name during the win over Sheffield Wednesday Wednesday night…

You might be wondering: What’s quasi-funny about this? It’s a simple mistake, an inadvertent repetition of the word Wednesday. Delete it and the meaning is clear — …the win over Sheffield Wednesday night.

Right?

Not exactly. However, this is unclear unless you’re familiar with English soccer beyond the Premier League: Sheffield Wednesday is the name of a soccer club.

So the above sentence requires, for greater clarity, not the deletion of a word but the addition of a word: on. Thus — …the win over Sheffield Wednesday on Wednesday night.

Still, even then it appears there could be a mistake of repetition. In the journalism realm, it’s an example of the editorial importance of asking a question — of the writer or assigning editor — before changing a story based on an assumption about inaccuracy.

No American pro teams (that I know of) have days of the week as part of their names. Imagine how confusing it would be in the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry if Boston Tuesday had a series with New York Thursday … that began on Wednesday.

© Bruce William Deckert 2018

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