Friday, April 16, 2010

Photo Caption of the Day

Here is the APP Photo published on page 4 of today's Dawn (since I couldn't grab the image off Dawn's epaper site, I looked it up on APP's website, where it exists with a digital watermark)...

(Source: Associated Press of Pakistan)

Now, APP of course supplies its own captions as guidelines, which as you can see above, are often prone to mistakes and generally no great shakes. But the APP caption pales in comparison to what Dawn decided to attach to the picture:

"Hyderabad: Some wanton boys pass time in this government girls primary school abandoned by the authorities for reasons known to them."

Wanton boys??? As in immoral? Lewd and unchaste? Gratuitously cruel or malicious? Unrestrainedly excessive? Luxuriant or abundant? Undisciplined, spoiled? Note to editor: Please have a dictionary available for sub-editors. And make sure they don't pick the most obsolete meanings (rebellious, frolicsome) to use in the paper. (On the other hand, I guess we should thank the heavens for small mercies, at least they didn't call the boys "urchins".)

But what about "abandoned by the authorities for reasons known to them"? Take another look at the "school." Is it really all that hard to figure out why the place is 'abandoned'? I know what the sub-editor's probably thinking: 'Okay, so it has no roof, no windows, no doors, no floor and has huge piles of concrete debris lying around, but it does have a blackboard!' And you can't argue with such formidable intellect.


Ammara said...

it is also possible that this condition of the school came about after the authorities ditched it
bt yes
the Dawn folks do need dictionaries...

XYZ said...

@Ammara: You're absolutely right, that is possible.

Roving Reporter said...

I think subs at all english papers need dictionaries and enrollment in crash courses on "how to sub properly."