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Quote before the question

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by copperpot, May 30, 2009.

  1. copperpot

    copperpot Well-Known Member

    Am I the only one who finds this irritating? You read the quote and have no idea what it means. Why not just flip it around?

    Sheffield singled, stole second and huffed and puffed around to third on a throwing error to set up Omir Santos' game-winning single in the 11th inning of the Mets' 2-1 victory over the Marlins.

    "Not quite," Sheffield said with a smile when asked if he was trying to reinvent himself as a speedster. "But I know how to steal bases."
  2. mediaguy

    mediaguy Well-Known Member

    I don't mind it. I don't do it a lot, but works fine when the answer is simple.

    "Of course, when the initial answer is incredibly long and leaves the reader unsure what exactly is being answered for an extended period of time," said Mediaguy when asked if there are instances in which the same usage is more bothersome.
  3. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Don't like it, either. I'd prefer the writer find a way to re-write that ... even if he has to pose the question himself:

    Is Sheffield trying to re-invent himself as a speedster?

    "Not quite," Sheffield said. "But I know how to steal bases."

    There are a dozen different ways to do this that would be better.
  4. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    I think even in the Shefflied instance, it seems cumbersome and could trip up a reader, at least momentarily.

    If there is a better way to set up that quote -- and there almost always is -- go with that.

    "Afterwards, Sheffield was asked if he was trying to re-invent himself as a speedster ...
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    While we're at, "afterward" is another word that is never needed.
    What do you think, someone ran out on the field and asked him the question during the play?
  6. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

  7. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Fair enough. Although sometimes it just flows better with an "afterward" there at the front of a sentence. It's a rhythm thing, I think.

    But I would not be signficantly opposed to its removal, especially in this example.
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    We're a weekly, so afterward is sometimes necessary so people understand we got the info at a game and not over the phone.
    And I hate when I see afterwards in print.
  9. Ditto with "towards" and "backwards".
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