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No holes in the sky

The Associated Press is to be congratulated for its distinguished addition to the roster of pleonasms.

An article about the mine cave-in in Utah, which The Sun ran in Monday’s editions (without any apparent challenge from the copy desk), carried a reference to underground tunneling.

Posted by John McIntyre at 1:09 PM | | Comments (2)
        

Comments

Is "tunnel" not a valid verb for adjectives? We can (and do, here even) have underwater tunnels.

Or is your objection based more on the availability of context?

JEM: Particularly in the context of a mountain in Utah, where else would one expect a tunnel?

You can have (at least in science fiction) hyperspace tunneling, can't you? But I agree that otherwise it is difficult to have above-ground tunneling.

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at john.mcintyre@baltsun.com.
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