Technical challenge

29 Sep

I was sure there’d be more and of my ground. And there is! Zeugma has returned to the Sidebar of Shame:

This one’s a bit trickier to parse because of the lure of low attachment, but the verb that all the phrases are hanging off, with positively Flanders-esque ambition, is “had”. (So she didn’t take LSD, an affair and a trip to an orgy etc). After you click on the link (and who’s not going to click on this?), it further emerges that what is meant by “Sex drugs…” is in fact “Sex, drugs …”, not a dangerous cocktail of Viagra and bicarbonate of soda.

The article headline has also attracted a slightly Gollum-esque double plural on “hallucinations”, but the most disappointing thing is that the really click-inducing part of the headline, “affair with her mum’s best friend’s husband”, is absolutely nowhere to be found in the text.

One might surmise that it was in there originally before, perhaps, a nervous lawyer asked for it to be removed? The article went live on 27 September, last Sunday, and reports being modified 24 hours later. If so, it’s slightly alarming that it was removed from the text while remaining in the headline. But, whatever the reason, it’s clear that Mail Online’s revise-desk repair crew hasn’t caught up with this one yet, and at this point, another day later, you wonder if they ever will. That, as we have said before, is the problem with a policy of publishing first and revising later. As colleague Ben in the office puts it, “never wrong for long” often ends up meaning “always wrong for ever”.

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