Monday, March 23, 2009

Michelle Grattan draws a line

Reporting on Anna Bligh's historic victory in Queensland (first woman state premier to be elected, rather than coming to office upon a retirement), in an election many thought would see a massive swing (in the end the Labor party looks to lose only about 6 0f 89 seats), Michelle Grattan writes in The Age:
The comfortable victory of Premier Anna Bligh draws a line over a string of recent setbacks at the state level for the ALP, and the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd yesterday praised Ms Bligh's "gutsy performance".
Hmm. " ... draws a line over". Is this a (sub-editorial?) mistake for "draws a line under", or is it a new usage that acknowledges the way we now produce text, as in a blog, so that the most recent comes at the top of the "page"? Have people been doing this for ages (drawing lines "over") without my noticing? Or is it a usage common from commerce or business, where one tends to file with the most recent on top?

Anyone else seen this before?

Glorious blue skies and Sunday morning sunshine over the city in Philadelphia this morning. A little work on the second section of Chapter Two, then I'm off to the Art Museum. And that's another thing. Why are big civic art collections called museums in the US, and galleries in Australia?

But I'm increasingly thinking the language problem here is mine. I went to the wonderful Reading Terminal Market yesterday (undercover; huge variety of stalls, though not the aisles and aisles of fruit and veg I'm familiar with from the Vic Market in Melbourne; and apparently some Amish produce), and asked for a large tub of tabbouleh and a small of babaganoush, whereupon the attendant produced two small tubs of babaganoush and a large tub of hummus. Anyway, I'm now stocked up on home-made lentil soup and falafel, as well.

Proves I was right to contact the travel agent in Boulder by email, though, rather than by phone. Who knows where I would have ended up?

8 comments:

Clare said...

Hi Stephanie,

Clare M. here, when we lived in Baltimore it took us ages to learn how to order american style in restaurants and markets. Eventually we realised that we just had to say things with american vowels...

froginthepond said...

I'm going with a sub-editor's misreading/understanding over the phrase (perhaps the subbie is a little to used to the strikethrough effect?).

I can't imagine Michelle Grattan ever making such a mistake.

Pavlov's Cat said...

But 'draws a line under the string' looks wrong in every possible way. I think the problem, as so often, is with the mixed metaphor. She can either have a drawn line or a string, but she can't have both in the same sentence without coming to some kind of geometrical grief -- the image can't exist in both two dimensions and three at the same time.

She or the sub may have been visualising 'draw a line over' as in 'put the lid on'. I've never seen it before, but that means nothing as I am a dinosaur in these matters -- I still have conniptions about 'bored of', and have not yet recovered from last night's ABC TV news, on which some solemn young journalist person said 'He sunk before they could save him.'

innercitygarden said...

Galleries in Australia follow the British convention, the National Gallery in London, which is why the NGV is "national" even though it's Victorian.

Internationally museum is a more popular term for a collecting institution (as opposed to one that only exhibits). In Italy a galleria is a shopping centre, and the museo is the cultural institution.

In Australia the sign over the door generally says "gallery", but the professionals inside a big public institution might describe themselves as "museum workers", and be members of Museums Australia, and follow the international museums standards. A commercial gallery, on the other hand, is never a museum.

clarencegirl said...

I think that what has happened here is that the more common phrase "draws a line under" has been mixed up with the less used expression "draws a [red] line through" which denotes erasing mistakes.
Either way this was a great example of thinking with fingers on the keyboard and the mind elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

As I'm contemplating spending next sabbatical in Washington, I'm just comforted by the fact that you managed to obtain hummous and etc. so easily (if not quite what you ordered). Last time I lived in the US, admittedly a long time ago, and in a much more rural area, I got my hard won feta cheese home and discovered it was... unsalted... I really drew the line under over through that...
Tyaakian

Stephanie Trigg said...

Frog, Cat and Clarence Girl, Yes, I think that's right: clearly something has gone wrong in the sub's office.

Garden, That's a most persuasive explanation: thank you!

Clare and Tyaakian, yes, at least in big cities you can find decent food here. I saw someone today with a Trader Joe's bag, and have looked it up; it's not too many blocks from here. A great chain for fresh produce; some organic foods; and "ethnic" (for want of a better word) food too. And today, I bought a grain loaf from the Metropolitan bakery which is almost as good as the one from Dench in Scotchmer St (little homesick sigh, now).

Jean James said...

My dear Stephanie,
It is now 7 pm Thursday, 26th and I am sitting at Joel's computer. I have just spent a fascinating hour reading your blog - first the current entry and then going back to the first entries. What an interesting record it is, both from a personal and professional perspective. I've enjoyed a lovely day here, having lunch with Paul, ironing a little, taking photographs, and talking with Joel. Paul is just about to serve tea so will sign off by sending our love - keep well - they are looking forward to seeing you soon. Jean