Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Unclear Antecedents from a Cleary Questionable Source

I clicked on a link to a personal finance article today and saw this:

They hid in the wrong stocks. They hid in the drug stocks. They hid in the medical stocks. It's where you are supposed to go in a slowdown. And they betrayed the hiders. I am talking about the big mutual funds and hedge funds that rushed into the big drug stocks like Lilly , Merck , Bristol-Myers , Pfizer , Glaxo , Johnson & Johnson , Sanofi and Novartis , and they hid in biotech like Amgen and Celgene . They figured people still had to take drugs, right? And they got betrayed twice.

It's from an article by Jim Cramer (yeah, that guy). I couldn't see the whole article because it's at a subscriber site of TheStreet, but I'm pretty sure this is the first paragraph. And the editing alone is enough to make me not want to subscribe. From what I can tell, the first three "theys" refer to mutual funds. But in sentence six, with no explanation, "they" appears to pair up with a different antecedent as "mutual funds" shed their "they" nickname to become "the hiders."

If I can't trust 'em with pronouns, I'm sure as hell not going to trust 'em with my money?

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Unknown said...

Sorry to be 'that guy', but is that supposed to be 'Clearly' in the hed. Speaking of heds, do other copy folk use spellings such as 'hed,' 'dek' and 'lede' or am I nuts? Also, I've decided to embrace my copy chief position as more than something to overcome and have started The Glossy Tabloid Style Guide, which is aimed at copy geeks, and my freelancers.

Best Michael QuiƱones

June Casagrande said...

You know, I hate to be "the guy" (or the female equivalent), too. But, cleary, someone had to be! (Can't believe I did that!)

And, yes, everyone I know uses "hed," "dek" and "lede," except I never know how that'll strike non-copy-desk types, so I'm never quite sure which to use for public consumption.

(But please, The Guy, note that I managed to keep the L in public.)

: )


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