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Monday, October 09, 2006

Eats Shoots and Leaves

Got an email today from a person I know and respect and presume is working on the Dinning campaign. She wanted to clarify the disclosure commitment from Dinning and noting the punctuation error in the Globe piece I quoted. The Globe quote on Dinning I referenced was:

"He has said his campaign will voluntarily follow provincial election rules, and disclose all donors after the election. Mr. Dinning's campaign also will not accept anonymous donations or money from any individual or corporation that totals more than $30,000."

The email clarification stated:

"Hey, cute interpretation of the reporter’s punctuation or lack thereof. For the record, it’s no donations over 30K. And no anonymous donations. So we’ll publish your name even if you keep that penny and only give $29,999.99."

If one inserted a COMMA in the Globe quote after the word donations you get an entirely different meaning from the Globe story and the one that I expect Dinning intended. The second sentence in the quote would then read "Mr. Dinning's campaign also will not accept anonymous donations, or money from any individual or corporation that totals more than $30,000."

Reminds me of the great example that I like to use from time to time, mostly to make a communications point. Do you agree with the statment "A woman without her man is nothing." Not many agree and no women in my experience . Now do you agree with the statement "A woman: without her man is nothing." Almost unanimous female agreement in my experience. Minor punctuation change big meaning shift.

Fun eh? Dangerous too! Just ask any political speech writer.

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