Wednesday, July 25, 2007

NY Punditry on strike-out stylistics

Petty concerns are the lifeblood of sub-editors, copy-editors and bloggers of a certain ilk. Hence, Feral Beastlings loved the following bitchy outpouring as Gawker whinged about a Pet Peeve:
The New York Times—both in this article and as like, individual people, at least in a few recent interactions we've had with staffers there—thinks that use of the strike tag (you know, this one) is "an ironic function... a witty way of simultaneously commenting on your prose as you create it." What total horsepucky! Sure there's a time and place for dumb strike-through jokes, or not—but really those who use it, as we do, do so to leave a record of an original inaccurate statement while adding something accurate. To regard the actual best possible system of making corrections, to cast transparency and responsibility as silliness or bitchiness, completely misses the opportunities of the internet.

Hmmm...I must confess that I am intrigued by this strike-through device (which as a semi-Luddite, I have not managed to replicate on my computer settings.) It is frequently used as a way to include snarky comments for public viewing, struck out in favor of some bland or more politically correct wording as if a wise and cowardly editor had blue-pencilled it. To me, claims that this is a noble technique to insure transparency are dubious. Come on, Gawker. Pull the other one.
Any writer with attitude will use all possible structures as weapons. Let me invite readers to send in examples of the strikethrough as a literary technique of comment. And any technical advice on how to program it into this blog would be greatly appreciated.

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