This is not political..I just can't get it

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    In reading Time magazine there is this long paragraph and I don't know what it means. I'm relatively sober :tongue: and I would like to know what to heck I am reading. I'll use X for the name so it is not political.

    A political activist "recalls a sad moment from X's campaign. X had been charged with improperly using his father's money to help finance his career. He denied the truth until the last possible moment, when he finally admitted his Dad made it possible for him to lend his campaign
    millions." "I looked over and saw this man--thin, in shirtsleeves with frayed cuffs, holding himself in the corner" the activist said. "I thought,
    this must be the loneliest man on the planet. And in fact, he turned out to be."

    Would the reference be to the Dad?? Why would he be in frayed cuffs
    etc.? Would the reference be to the candidate? Why would he be in shirtsleeves holding himself in the corner?

    It's not earthshattering but I would like to know "who" is referred to.
    Good Grief, it is just a magazine article and I feel like I read the Illiad
    or some other college assignment! :redface: DDD
  2. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    I think it refers to X because X is what the paragraph is about. When Dad is mentioned it is by refering to "him" as Dad, make sense?
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    That's what I'm assuming, too. on the other hand why would wealthy people be
    forlorn and poorly dressed?? Strange. Thanks for your "read". DDD
  4. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I think the answer is in the earlier paragraphs where the writer is discussing a number of politicians, their relationship with their fathers and their ....issues, shall we say. The moment described is used to illustrate the writer's analysis of those people.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I went to and read the article. I believe the description refers to X, and that it is a poorly written paragraph. I find this to be so in many newspaper/newsmagazine articles that I read.

    I think that if you want to refer to "he" or "she" in a paragraph, that somewhere in the paragraph you need to refer to who "he" or "she" is. It's too confusing when you are reading an article and "he" or "last name only" is referring to someone that was mentioned as "District Attorney first and 'Last Name Only'" 15 paragraphs earlier. I shouldn't have to work that hard to figure out who the subject is that is being quoted or referred to.
  6. Star*

    Star* call 911

    No.......WHO's on FIRST......:tongue:
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys. NOW I am going to bed without wondering. LOL
  8. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    That's right.
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I'm with Witz. Because the earlier text was talking about X and only referring to the father obliquely, then "he" is most likely to be X.

    And yes, it is very badly written. The purpose of writing is to communicate, and because this is written so ambiguously, it doesn't communicate effectively.

    I've been noticing lately just how sloppy is the writing of many journalists. I've even seen some very bad spelling mistakes in headings, mistakes made by using the wrong spelling of a word (which implies the copy editor doesn't fully understand the origins of his own language).
    I do freelance editing at times, when I read I edit. It's perhaps the Aspie component in me.

  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Good point. It is poorly written. And that does happen a lot. Sigh.