John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to jemcintyre@gmail.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Times leads a sheltered life

In the New York Times article on Michaele and Tarek Salahi. the would-be reality show participants who wormed their way, uninvited, into a state dinner at the White House, you will find this sentence:

And the two money shots: Mrs. Salahi, her red and gold sari glittering, snaked around a grinning Mr. Biden, her hand resting on his chest, his arm wrapped around her waist; and both Salahis, with a smiling Mr. Emanuel, described on Mrs. Salahi’s Facebook page as “Chief of Staff of the United States White House.”

It’s not my place to tell Helene Cooper, Janie Lorber, Brian Stelter, or their editors at The Times what a “money shot” is or where the term originated, but really, someone should.

7 comments:

  1. You don't think that was intentional?

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  2. It's not my place to tell copy editors the etymology of the word for the instrument (formerly) used to make corrections on copy, but probably someone should.

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  3. Must have read this and deleted those five words.

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  4. They know exactly what it means: these two whores were dorking the President of the United States--except he didn't know it, thanks to his dumb--- security service...
    They nailed it, actually. No pun intended.

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  5. Yes, in a revision of the article, the "money shot" reference has been excised. Another triumph for editing!

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  6. JC:
    Do you think they had to use a blue pencil on that line?

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  7. Tacky all the way around: the incident deserves the language. I hope lots of heads roll.

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