100%

 
 
1. A paragraph in a newspaper story reads like this:


Jones considered his position. "Well," he said, "my first inclination would be to offer the woman help, but … I'd have to say after thinking about it some more, I might … simply walk away."


What do you think those three-dot punctuations mean?

 
That Jones paused significantly at those moments.
 
That Jones said something else in those places that the writer chose to omit from the quote.
 
That the writer wanted the reader to mentally pause.
 
I'm just not sure what they mean.
 
 
2. 
A newspaper reporter is taping an interview with an eyewitness to an accident involving the electrocution of a city worker. When the reporter is transcribing the tape, he hears that the eyewitness said: "I seen it up close, a giant white fireball. It was like when you was in eighth grade and you seen the Teflon coil, with the enormous spark which came out of it, and you touched it and your hair stood on end, straight up from the folliculars."


The writer quoted the eyewitness this way:


"I saw it up close, a giant white fireball. It was like when you were in eighth grade and you saw the Tesla coil and the enormous spark came out of it, and you touched it and your hair stood on end, straight up from the follicles ."


Was this an acceptable thing to do?

 
No, if words are in quotes they need to be verbatim. He should have quoted the man exactly.
 
No. He should have presented the quote in a way that was technically accurate, as in: "I [saw] it up close, a giant white fireball," the man said. He compared it to watching a Tesla coil in eighth grade, when "a giant spark came out of it, and you touched it and your hair stood on end straight up from the [follicles]."
 
The writer did nothing wrong. The truth of the quote was maintained.
 
 
3. 
In a locker room interview, a well known Washington Redskin says: "I don't know how nobody feel, I don't know what nobody think, I don't know what nobody doing, the only thing I know is what is going on in Clinton Portis's life."


A sportswriter quotes him saying, "I don't know how anybody feels, I don't know what anybody thinks, I don't know what anybody is doing, the only thing I know is what is going on in Clinton Portis's life."


Was this reporter correct?

 
Yes. There was no reason to embarrass Portis. The quote as printed in the paper delivered exactly the same information and opinion. No harm was done to the truth.
 
No. Portis is a celebrity, he knew how he was sounding and everyone knows how he talks. This is locker room lingo and changing it to the King's English is ridiculous.
 
I'm not sure.
 
 
4. 
Here is the tape of a reporter's interview with a newsmaker:


"I can't understand why the president does not see he is inside a bubble, which is, which doesn't let in other -- I mean, nobody ever tells him whatever. Okay, here's what it's like: From the inside, nothing contrary can penetrate. He is alone with his policies, unchecked, and stupid in his certitude."


The reporter writes the quote like this: "I can't understand why the president does not see he is inside a bubble. From the inside, nothing contrary can penetrate. He is alone with his policies, unchecked, and stupid in his certitude."


Did the reporter do anything wrong?

 
Yes
 
No
 
I don't know
 
 
5. 
Here is the tape of a reporter's interview with a newsmaker:


"I think the economy is in sound shape. I mean, the fact might. Okay, there's never a time that you get, well, it's like, sure, always causes for concern and this is no diff -- you know, mortgage instability like we're seeing isn't something you just, I mean, of course. But you're asking about in the whole, in the aggregate, I have no cause for concern and certainly none for panic.


In the newspaper, the quote comes out this way:


"I think the economy is in sound shape. On the whole, in the aggregate, I have no cause for concern and certainly none for panic."


Did the reporter do anything wrong?

 
Yes
 
No
 
I'm not sure.
 
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