Monday, August 11, 2008

Tidal Waves and Increments

I got my love of language from my mom (and my dad, but probably mostly my mom).

(in fact, she was the first person ever to say to me, "Look it up." And she introduced me to my first "eggcorn" [though we didn't call it that at the time]--"next store to the post office")

And I grew up reading the Des Moines Register (and the Des Moines Tribune). At the paper drop, before delivering them on my route. (I got my start as a paperboy.)

Today, Mom sent me a link to a DMR story with the following graph:

Sexual assault and harassment cases reported at the University of Iowa have shown no signs of waning in the past five years — in fact, they have ebbed upward by some measures, campus experts say.

Iowa's a landlocked state, as you can tell.

Ebbed upward? What in the world do they think the word “ebb” means?

“Move slowly, as slowly as the tide,” I guess. Mom guesses they meant to say "edged upward."

Oh, and then there's the headline: 

Few cases reach U of I office

Few cases of WHAT? I looked for an overarching head, but couldn't find one on the page.

I went looking to see if it was a subsection of a larger article about "sexual harrassment at colleges"

I'm guessing that it's a sidebar to this story:
U of I professor gets paid leave in bribery case

but there's no link between the two stories on the website.

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