Misplaced clause transfers FEMA function to Alabama county.

Tornado cleanup continues throughout this part of Alabama, and newspaper articles continue to report what is being done.  Unfortunately, some reporters get their brains and their keyboards tangled as they try to cram specific information into lead sentences.  Here is a classic example from this morning's The Birmingham News:

JASPER–About 35 to 40 people showed up Saturday for a Federal Emergency Management Agency event in this Walker County city that was designed to provide victims of the April 27 tornado outbreak with information about long-term housing options, a FEMA spokeswoman said.

 Whoops! As written, this sentence makes it sound as if the Walker County city of Jasper was designed to provide tornado victims with information. Actually, it is the FEMA event IN Jasper that was designed to provide the information.

 

It is never a good idea to tack a THAT clause on right after anything other than what the THAT CLAUSE actually references.  News staff writer Malcomb Daniels should have placed the phrase IN THIS WALKER COUNTY CITY right after the word SATURDAY so FEMA would be right before the THAT WAS DESIGNED clause.  In addition, I suggest removing the words THAT WAS completely for a smoother read. The sentence should read this way:

JASPER–About 35 to 40 people showed up Saturday in this Walker County city for a Federal Emergency Management Agency event designed to provide victims of the April 27 tornado outbreak with information about long-term housing options, a FEMA spokeswoman said.

 


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One Response to “Misplaced clause transfers FEMA function to Alabama county.”

  1. rani says:

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