October 16, 2005

A prime WTF

I was reading the paper today, and on page C3 of the Register-Mail I ran across a sterling example of what the Language Log folks are calling WTF coordinations. In a PSA from Ameren (the local energy utility), we are told

You can't see it. So we make sure you can smell it. It you detect the distinctive rotten egg odor we add to natural gas, don't turn anything off or on. Leave the house immediately, and the door open when you do. Then call us from another location.
I suspect that started out as "...and leave the door open when you do," and some smarter-than-thou copyeditor "fixed" the coordination, but I suppose it's possible it was produced naturally. (For the record, that original would have sounded funny too, but the fix is to change one or both occurrences of "leave" to something else, e.g. "exit".)

"I'm not an idiot, and if I really cared about any of that "to wit" shit I would have wasted years of my life in some law school." --Brent Spillner

Posted by blahedo at 11:00pm on 16 Oct 2005 | TrackBack
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