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“…WAS IN TOWN SHOOTING LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.”

April 7, 2009

“…WAS IN TOWN SHOOTING LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.”

That’s what the closed captions said on my local noon news report today. But it wasn’t a story about a horrible crime wave. No, it was about actor Jamie Foxx who was in Philadelphia to film a movie called “Law Abiding Citizens.” Actually, the story was about his stalker, a man who entered his hotel room in Rittenhouse Square last month.

But what caught my eye was the misrepresentation caused by lack of punctuation and editing. Granted, this is real-time captioning, so they can be forgiven for not taking the time to add quotation marks to show the film name. But they are also listening to the broadcast, and the editor of the news program could have rephrased the sentence better.

Possibilities:
…was in town shooting “Law Abiding Citizens”
…was in town shooting the film, “Law Abiding Citizens”
…was in town filming “Law Abiding Citizens”

Given that real-time captioning usually can’t take the time to add quotation marks, the last one is preferable, and will read as …WAS IN TOWN FILMING LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. A less eye catching headline, perhaps, but one that communicates well.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. purpleswirlarts permalink
    April 7, 2009 10:15 pm

    Cool. Tonight, the same channel had the same story. But this time, the closed captions read, “…WAS IN TOWN SHOOTING THE FILM LAW ABIDING CITIZENS.

    I sent out a tweet about this post, and had forgotten that the news channel itself follows me on Twitter. Wonder if my post made the difference?

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