Good, Bad, and Ugly

Reader reaction to Reuters news

Should we sanction this word?


U.S. sanctions 3 firms owned by Libyan government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States Thursday sought to increase pressure on the Libyan government by imposing financial sanctions on three companies owned by Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

London-based Dalia Advisory Ltd, Libya’s state broadcasting company and Lafico Algeria Holdings, an Algeria-based subsidiary of the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company, were added to the U.S. sanctions blacklist.

The sanctions prohibit U.S. transactions with the firms and seek to freeze any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. Dalia is owned by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which was established in 2006 to manage the country’s oil revenues.

The headline here means exactly the opposite of what’s intended. To sanction something means to certify or approve it. “Sanctions imposed” is more along the lines of what you want.

Taking centre stage…


St. Pierre turns hockey-mad Canada into MMA mecca

While such a statement borders on treason in hockey-mad Canada, White’s boast cannot not be simply dismissed with St. Pierre set to headline the biggest mixed martial arts event ever held in North America Saturday at a 55,000 seat Rogers Center that sold out in a matter of hours.

That should be “Rogers Centre” not “Rogers Center.” For a large Canada-based news organization, that type of mistake shouldn’t happen…

Oh! Kolkata!


Indian state election expected to end Kolkata’s 34-year communist rule

As dawn broke on Monday, scores of voters formed queues outside one unopened booth, excitedly showing their identity cards to security personnel in Siliguri, 370 miles north of Kolkata. Once one of the richest cities in Asia and the capital of the British empire in India, Kolkata has become a byword for poverty and has stumbled behind the new modern India of IT cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Can you please justify your comment on the article – “Kolkata has become a byword for poverty.” Since when this has happened, I would really like to know.

Say what?


Critics chime in on Lady Gaga’s latest single

MUSIC-GRAMMYS/LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Lady Gaga has done it again. The singer, whose lyrics like to toe the controversy line, released “Judas,” the latest track off of her new album Born This Way on Friday — a few days earlier than its originally scheduled April 19 drop date.

It appears the author and editor misunderstand the meaning of the idiom “toe the line.”

The election is fixed?


Venezuela opposition to pick Chavez challenger

VENEZUELA/CARACAS, April 13 (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition coalition on Wednesday fixed an election for next February to choose its candidate to challenge President Hugo Chavez in a presidential vote at the end of 2012.

It’s a poor choice of words to say the opposition fixed an election for next February.

The Browning version?


Utah becomes first in U.S. to designate official state gun

gbu browning 300SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) – Utah has become the first U.S. state to name an official firearm, placing an automatic pistol on a list of designated symbols, right along with the honeybee and the cutthroat trout.

In your lead sentence, you call the M1911 an automatic pistol, which is dead wrong.

They’re all jets…


Libyan rebels rout Gaddafi forces in strategic town

LIBYA-FRANCE/The French armed forces said around 20 French aircraft supported by an AWACS surveillance plane struck targets during the day on Saturday, including five Galeb fighter jets and two MI-35 helicopters on the ground outside Misrata.

Come on guys, is it the public reading your articles or is the problem your reporters?

Teach your parents well?


Peanut allergy stirs controversy at Florida school

EGYPT/Attempts to teach the girl’s parents for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.

Oh, “Attempts to teach the girl’s parents” huh?

Well there’s your problem right there, can’t teach her parents nothin’.

Singular or plural?


Data points to strengthening growth, jobs

CHINAData points to?



Yes, I know, this is a plural noun.

The Reuters style guide recognizes that, but adds: “treat as if it were singular, e.g. The data was corrupted.”

By contrast, the AP’s style book advises reporters to treat data as a plural noun in most cases: GBU Editor

Hold the anchovies?


Millions of dead anchovies swamp L.A.-area marina

FISH-DIEOFF/“The issue now is cleanup because we have tons and tons of dead fish rotting and purifying, which obviously creates hazardous material,” Keenan said.

They’re PUTREFYING, not PURIFYING. The ‘t’ makes an enormous difference. Otherwise a good story.