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Is the New York Times Parochial, Or Just Full of Bad Writing?

You decide. Chris and PG have almost sufficiently taken the NYT to task for its bad writing this weekend. I say almost because PG doesn't, I think, deal harshly enough with this article on Spamalot! that only outstrips its stereotyping of homosexuals with its stereotyping of straight men. (UPDATE: What did they put in the coffee there this weekend? Jeremy's assumption is that the New York Times is on crack. )

But I'm confused by the following, which is either very poor reporting or very unclear English:

As such, there's also probably a small cultural movement at work here, too, as evidenced by the rise of recent adaptations of many of the ur-texts of male geekdom, from the blockbuster film saga "The Lord of the Rings" (which is also being turned into a musical) to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a movie being released this month. (And the BBC recently announced that Dr. Who was coming back.)

(emphasis mine) This, frankly, is befuddling. The BBC didn't merely announce that Doctor Who is coming back: it's in the middle of showing new episodes. Indeed, the American ubergeeks that the NYT finds so hard to fathom are probably downloading it on Bittorrent as we speak. So is this parochialism? Doctor Who isn't really "coming back" until it comes back to these shores (despite its UK pedigree)?

That's one possibility. The other is just sloppy language. Ten days before Jesse McKinley wrote his piece, the BBC did announce that they're commissioning a second season of the new series, albeit without Christopher Eccleston. Does the Times normally refer to a series as "coming back" when it's in the middle of its run, just because it's been renewed? And certainly to those not well-versed in the "ur-texts of male geekdom", wouldn't it have been better to say "coming back for a new season"? After all, not every homosexual male (or New York Times staff writer) queuing up for theater tickets has access to fine blogs like this to clarify the point for them, and it's important for one to keep track of the new trend-setters in fashion and entertainment. . . .

(yes, tongue is in the cheek, there)


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