August 1, 2008

Lost his head, I guess

I don't really think this story is that interesting, but:

1) Remind me not to ride Greyhound in Canada. Actually, I don't think you'll have to remind me. Nothing about that sounds particularly appealing.

2) I initially read the headline wrong and thought it was going to be truly macabre, but then I realized that it was the decapitation suspect, and not the decapitation victim, who showed up in court.

Which, for a reason that'll be obvious in a moment, reminds me of one of the worst sentences written by a professional journalist that I've ever read.

In December 1994, a New Jersey man was killed by one of the last few Unabomber killings -- about a year and a half before Ted Kaczyniski was finally identified and arrested. Since the victim was in the advertising industry, the tragedy was covered by Advertising Age magazine.

I've never forgotten the offending phrase, but I just looked up the article in Lexis-Nexis to make sure I had it exactly right. I kid you not: It actually appeared in print, precisely as follows: "The bomb, postmarked Dec. 3 in San Francisco, exploded Dec. 10 at [the victim's] home, decapitating the newly promoted exec VP-general manager of Y&R Inc. and severely damaging his kitchen."

2 comments:

bugs said...

too bad about his kitchen.

JBhumitra said...

one of my former colleagues used to be the CEO of burson (an APCO competitor), and was best friends with another executive at burson who received one of the unabomber's mail bombs. The bomb was actually intended for my colleague but was misdirected. After the executive died my colleague felt such guilt and sadness since it should have been him, that he went into retirement. APCO got him out of retirement eventually, and he has been a great resource to the company, running our NY office. he is a great guy, and its a terrible thing to have happened to him.