Answering missing blanks

If you read Yahoo! Finance to gain knowledge about finance or for reliable financial news, you’ll need to do a little translation. Take this excerpt that’s about missing blanks, I think:

missing blanks fin

So when a blank goes missing, what’s left? A blank? And what kind of question does a missing blank ask that requires an answer, even if it’s only a partial answer? What the heck does this mean? I think it means the writer just threw out a lot of words without thinking about their meaning.

If you manage to make sense of that, I defy you to figure out the meaning of this sentence from the same article:

neither fin

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5 Responses to “Answering missing blanks”

  1. Don't Spam Me Says:

    The Swiss proposal left a lot of questions unanswered; those blanks were only partially filled in…

    …have neither been willing to accept … nor…

    Also it should read “Western Europe”, imho.

    • Laura Says:

      Are you trying to suggest a rewrite? If so, you’re doing better than Yahoo’s writer, but I don’t think “a lot of questions unanswered” should be followed by “those blanks were only partially filled in.” Those are two contradictory statements using two different metaphors. I think the writer meant: The Swiss proposal had a
      lot of questions that were completely or partially unanswered. Or: questions that were not fully answered.

      Your second rewrite doesn’t restate the writer’s intent. I think she meant: Americans have not been willing to accept the levels of taxation [I don’t know what “kinds of levels” means] or the breadth of social support seen in Western Europe.

  2. searchermike Says:

    Incroyable!! That wasn’t in Style, or in Culture, but in Finance, where one might reasonably expect a firmer grasp of grammar and syntax.


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