how to chop and chop

Sunday, January 18th, 2004

The Columbia Journalism Review weblog comments on misuse of the ellipses.


11 responses to “how to chop and chop”

  1. gibb says:

    Wow, almost 4000 words covered by three little dots? I’ll add the ellipses to my list of “doublecheck before you use” items. Right under the semicolon. Thanks!

  2. Rina says:

    I don’t know who this Thomas Lang is but…after reading Clark’s testimony, are you intentionally avoiding the fact that he was talking out of both sides of his mouth?He’s a clever fellow, I’ll give him that.Furthermore, given the fact that by his own account, Hussein was malevolent, belligerent and had the potential to acquire nuclear capabilities within two to five years, if left unchecked, why was Milosevik more of a priority to take out preemptively without U.N. approval than Hussein?Were the 5,000 Kurds that were gassed by Hussein not as important as the 5,000 corpses that were found in Kosovo?And how about those Tutsis over in Rwanda? I mean, if you want to read of unspeakable slaughter…unspeakable slaughter…in just one hundred days, I suggest anyone who is interested, do a little search on what happened in Rwanda in 1994. It is not for those who lack intestinal fortitude, I’ll tell you that.In fact, in August of this year, a book written by General Dallaire is due to be published, called Shake Hands with the Devil. His account talks about the betrayal of the U.N….they are not the moral and benevolent force we like to think they are, so pardon me if Clark’s emphasis on U.N. permission rings hollow with me.Anyone who followed foreign policy with a barf bag close at hand during the 90s is not impressed.

  3. ersinghaus says:

    Rina,

    A politician talking out of both sides of his mouth? Unheard of. Bush would never do such a thing. One of the issues that people are talking about is what “anti-war” means in the context of Clark’s position. See Calpundit for some of this dialogue. No one can be consistent all the time. That’s another issue. The headline in question is a classic smear.

    Smart money says that after UN inspections, Hussein was hamstrung and no threat to US. Projecting that he could have weapons is speculation and can only get you so far. Of course he was a threat to his own people. But how far can we take that argument especially in the face of N. Korea.

    You need not ask pardon from me. The ring hollow issue doesn’t matter: who’s arguing cleanliness? Clark would be the last to suggest any UN angelicism. The scuttle now is how to use them without the administration looking like their grovelling.

    Annan’s a smart guy. So’s Bremer. Time will tell what role the UN will play but they will play a role.

  4. ersinghaus says:

    Rina, see this permalink for some comment. Don’t know how relevant yet, but it’ll lead to some comment on Clark.

    http://www.calpundit.com/archives/003077.html

  5. ersinghaus says:

    retrothought, Rina:

    What exactly are you areguing with. I was simply linking to a bad use of the ellipses by Drudge.

    Are you thinking that I have other evil agenda?

  6. Rina says:

    Talking out of both sides of the mouth under usual circumstances is little more than an annoyance to me…unless it is on national security matters.National security matters are about life or death…it’s not a fooling matter.Clark is a fool, plain and simple…the policy that was followed in the 90s got us in a heap of trouble. Now that India, Pakistan and N. Korea have nuclear capability…in China’s case, latest, state of the art, comparable to ours…it’s a different game…we have to be more diplomatic in our engagement. For the record, the problem does not lie with the people of these countries, but their governments are a different story.I’m no expert but I’ve been following Bill Gertz, Stratfor.com and Janes.com for almost a decade now…and not all of these sources are “pro-war” but their credentials are respectable.Clark and his people had their chance back in the 90s and the seeds that we have been left to sow today are frightful.To me, Drudge’s ellipses serve as a focus on one part of Clark’s testimony while editing out the ridiculousness. It was not an abuse. Was it a smear? Sure. Everybody does it. Who cares? Truth be told, I don’t even follow Drudge anymore…his claim to fame was breaking the story on a blue semen stained dress. While every one was having fun with that I was having my mind blown (no pun intended) by following the real story behind the story which was China-gate.But, it was all about the economy, stupid…and character didn’t count and…it’s all water under the bridge now.In the case of Iraq…we will not truly know the success of this battle for, in my estimation, about a decade. Patience is in order. I realize this is a hard thing to ask in light of our microwave mentality. I understand, patience is inconvenient, there is little short term satisfaction in it. This I say with a heavy heart since there are people I love in combat zones. To say that this leg of the war is unsuccessful is short-sighted and purile at best…this is why Clark breaks my heart. He should know better…politics and presidential aspirations, he should know better.Nobody is for war…most especially the people who come home shrapnel scars and watch their friends get their legs blown off or die. I could take the anti-war crowd more seriously if they had remembered to take a position during the Kosovo War. I have a long memory and I don’t remember seeing anti-war posters in the cafeteria of TCC during the Kosovo War. If I had, I might have put aside that they are funded by communists and joined them for a protest in D.C. I could have been a little more sympathetic to their position…but I dare not light a match because their hipocrasy stinks to high heaven.As I have previously mentioned, I would have liked nothing more than four years of No Child Left Behind. I could have embraced some socialism for few years of peaceful domestic policy that Bush seemed willing to continue. Alas…that’s neither here nor there.On Iraq, the short term positive side on this leg of the war is:1. By bringing the war front to the Middle East and having terrorist cells filter in to Iraq, it is a battle that our military is more psychologically and tactically equipped to fight.2. The capture of Hussein has not only had a psychological impact on our enemies who were under the impression that Americans are a bunch of complacent pantywaists, but we finished a job that should have been taken care of during the first war…which President Bush (41) didn’t pursue because it was not part of the U.N. mandate.Time will tell.***shrugging my shoulders***Time will tell.Do you know how many countries had nuclear capability in 1992? Do you know how many countries have broken nonproliferation policy since then? It’s not pretty, Mr. Ersinghaus. Although I understand why these matters do not make it to the front pages of the NYTs, I cannot allow Clark to get away with his rubbish-talk.No. I do not think that you have an evil agenda. I know that your post was about ellipses. I think you have a right to focus on whatever you want. It’s your blog. Your property. But to focus on a supposed misuse of ellipses while disregarding the bigger picture…I personally cannot let that go unaccounted. As if General Clark has been wronged or abused. If he wants to b.s. me about healthcare, education or taxes…I could tune him out but when he speaks as an expert on life or death matters with disregard, it really chaps my hide. Bigtime.As for ellipses…I like ellipses.I like ’em alot.

  7. Rina says:

    I’ve visited Calpundit’s site several times.I don’t care for it.The few threads that I have tried to follow were too far-out for me.Are shrooms a requirement? I’ve never done shrooms. Besides a margarita “episode” over a year ago…I don’t even drink either.I visit DU (democratic underground) sometimes for fun and…the threads on Calpundit’s site are along the same lines.I come out feeling really dizzy…like someone slipped me a crazy pill.You being an anti-label person, I’m surprised that you suggest I visit them.Perhaps I visited on off days…

  8. Rina says:

    I gave up Gilmore Girls for these posts.Gilmore Girls!

  9. Rina says:

    Wow. I wonder if Thomas Lang will call Pelosi on misquoting President Kennedy’s words…Is that right?That’s not how I remember that quote. I’m certain.I gotta go look for a transcript…I was so mesmerized by the fact that she barely blinked that I deleted the mental file.

  10. ersinghaus says:

    Rina,

    I’ve added two links for you under the politics section. I think you’ll find Jim Kalb a nice balance .

    I myself did not miss Gilmore Girls and found this exchange, paraphrased, particularly funny:

    Richard: “Are you cold? I can turn up the heat.”

    Lorelai: “Enough with the bragging already.”

    One note: “1. By bringing the war front to the Middle East and having terrorist cells filter in to Iraq, it is a battle that our military is more psychologically and tactically equipped to fight.”

    You’re joking, right? You use the term “War Front.” Is this what you meant?

  11. Rina says:

    Why do the producers insist on hooking Lorelai up with these guys who are hard on the eyes?I’ll never know.Okay. I know. They want the viewer to long for Luke and Lorelai to be together.Whatever.When Ed and Carol Vessi got together on Ed (NBC, Friday 7/8), it didn’t make me like the show any less.There’s just no winning…in real life or tv land…I’m tellin ya.War front?Battlefront.How ’bout battlefront?Does that work out better for you?I’ll take battlefront for $500, please.I’ve found a half dozen other typos…How did you miss blue semen?That one’s a classic.What is blue semen?I wonder if that’s what they use to make human/ alien hybrids…?Remember, you heard it here first.