Turning the tables

April 6, 2010

Pakistan tables long-awaited constitutional reforms


ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – The Pakistani government introduced a constitutional bill in parliament Friday to transfer President Asif Ali Zardari’s sweeping powers to the prime minister, possibly ending months of political wrangling.

The set of reforms, known as the “18th Amendment Bill,” is expected to be passed by the two-chambered parliament, effectively turning Zardari into a titular head of state.

Your headline Pakistan Tables…  uses the wrong word, with the opposite meaning. In the US, to table something means to postpone it.


Yes, which is why the word “table” is generally banned in Reuters headlines.

To readers in much of the English-speaking world it means to introduce something, but in the U.S. it means to set aside for future discussion. While the lede made clear what we were saying, the headline was confusing to American eyes: GBU Editor

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari scatters rose petals at the grave of his wife Benazir Bhutto, while making a visit to the Bhutto family mausoleum, on the death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, near Larkana in Sindh province April 4, 2010. REUTERS/Nadeem Soomro

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