Sunday, November 23, 2008

When the right hand doesn't know what the headline-writer is doing

Poorly-phrased NYT article:
President-elect Barack Obama has signaled that he will pursue a far more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts than anything he outlined on the campaign trail — a plan "big enough to deal with the huge problem we face,” a top adviser said Sunday — setting the tone for a recovery effort that could absorb and define much of his term.

Even-more-badly-phrased headline: "Obama Aides Signal Deeper Cuts in Taxes and Spending."

NB: The article's about the need for a larger stimulus package than anticipated-- that is, more tax cuts and more spending.

"more ambitious plan of spending and tax cuts" misleadingly suggests that spending will be cut; better to write "plan of spending increases and tax cuts" or "plan of tax cuts and spending."

"Deeper Cuts in Taxes and Spending" is even worse; it unambiguously means that spending will be cut, and cut more than had been anticipated, which is the reverse of what's going on.


Update: fixed now.

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