Thursday, February 19, 2009

Edotorial decision-making in action

Daer LoS:

I have a matter to bring to your intention regarding an article in the Washington Post about the Iraqi shoe-thrower.

This article reads:

But the scene was largely jubilant, as women in black abayas ululated triumphantly, their high-pitched shrieks reverberating in the courthouse lobby.

But when I first read it it said something different. I searched for the missing phrase and preserved by Google, it read:

Iraqi Defends Shoe-Throwing Incident -
19 Feb 2009 ... But the scene was largely jubilant, as women in black abayas ululated triumphantly, their tongue-flapping, high-pitched shrieks.... - 8 hours ago - Similar pages -

Voila! The frame is adjusted, an offending phrase removed, more efficient than Winston Smith cutting and pasting, pneumatic tubes to incinerators and all that.

Please consider this post for you site.


Mortimer Hawkins, Iowa


If you'd like to learn to ululate, btw, there are some good tips at a forum on tribe.

Their banner rocks:

Looking for "tongue-flapping shrieks"?


Googling "ululation" in images does not lead to what you might expect.


  1. Thank you, Mr. Hawkins, for bringing this to our attention. One can only suppose that The New York Post wishes that they, too, could have a "do over!"

    I was not familiar with the word "ululation" and was surprised to discover that it has such a long history: over 400 years of offensive use!

    "...with her vncouth and lowd barking and howling, make[s] the waters thereabout resound with an incredible report and eccho of such her strange vlulations."-- Linche, Richard, The Fountaine of Ancient Fiction, tr. 1599.

  2. Ululate derives from Latin ululare, to howl, to yell, ultimately of imitative origin. The noun form is ululation; the adjective form is ululant.


Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Need to add an image? Use this code: [ximg]IMAGE-URL-HERE[x/img]. You will need to remove the the boldface x's from the code to make it work.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.