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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Comma Chameleon, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. A team reaches the playoffs in 2000 but has yet to return. Story says the team has not been in the postseason "since 2000."

    Another team reaches the playoffs in 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2007. Story says the team made it to the postseason "for the fourth time since 2000."

    Same word, two different meanings. Are both correct? I am not sure the second instance is. Can "since" mean both of these? One means "after a certain point in time." The other means "including and after a certain point in time."

    This came up in proofreading last week. Curious to see other points of view.
  2. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    The first one is fine. The second one might be better as, "Team X reached the postseason for the fourth time in the last eight years."
  3. audreyld

    audreyld Guest

    Wouldn't that be the past eight years? Isn't last reserved for situations meaning "final"?
  4. WazzuGrad00

    WazzuGrad00 Guest

    They're both fine.

    The ambiguity involved is one of the reasons English is so hard to learn.
  5. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

    Yep, past eight eight years is the correct term.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Or you can simply say "for the fourth time in eight years" and eliminate the last/past dilemma
  7. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    You are correct on past/last but you sound like someone I work with.

    Of course, the same person changes "chances" to "opportunities" as in "he had a chance to give Podunk High the lead but struck out" to "he had an opportunity to give Podunk High the lead but struck out" and insists putting the term "fans" is wrong because "you can't assume everyone at the game are fans."

    Yes, the writers hate him.
  8. Terence Mann

    Terence Mann Member

    The first definition of chance I found on the Web: opportunity: a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances; "the holiday gave us the opportunity to visit Washington"; "now is your chance"

    And what does he call fans? Customers? You can't assume they all paid.


    People in attendance?

    The people who were watching from within the perimeter of the stadium's borders?
  9. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    i hate the word last with a passion, yet every last person in my shop is in love with it.
  10. Charlie Brown

    Charlie Brown Member

    There is a poll on this site that asks What was the greatest singular playoff performance since 1980?

    The first choice is:
    Magic Johnson's 42-point, 15 rebound performance in Game Six of the 1980 NBA Finals.
  11. audreyld

    audreyld Guest

    I was just asking a question, not trying to be a know-it-all. Sorry if it came off that way.
  12. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    "The Cavs won before a crowd of 15,101 Cavs fans, 343 Pistons fans, a handful of dudes just there to check out some chicks and one confused gay man who thought he was actually there for a Cher concert. Not that there's anything wrong with that."
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