Friday, September 28, 2007

Three-Day Recession

This morning's "In Your Corner" column by David Morris advises a storm-shutter buyer who wants his money back about the "three-day right of recession." I like this malapropism. It has potential.

Sorry, it's "recision," rooted in "rescind," a synonym for "cancel." I normally wouldn't mention this (it's mean to play Gotcha with everyday grammar, spelling and punctuation hiccups) except the columnist quotes the Florida Bar and changes the quote.

Here's the post on a Florida Bar Web site that I think he used.

Contrary to what many people believe, there is no automatic right to cancel a valid contract, even if done within 3 days. Only certain types of contracts come with a "3-day right of rescission", such as health club contracts or some sales of goods or services made at your home.

In the morning newspaper, the quoted material changes rescission to recession. This is not good. But, the writer's change introduces an error, which is worse than not good.

What to do? The source spells the "right word" in a nonstandard way. Either insert [sic] near to the error to let folks know you didn't sin, or paraphrase and make all the spelling and style changes you want, including getting that pesky comma inside the quote mark.

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