Just ahead of confusion

“President reverses his earlier statements that he would own the shutdown if border wall funding was not included just ahead of a Senate debate on his plan”

Wow. I am really confused by this very long headline — starting with just ahead of.

  • The President either reverses his earlier statements just ahead of a Senate debate…
  • Or he would own the shutdown just ahead of a Senate debate…
  • Or he wants the funding included just ahead of a Senate debate…

The longer a sentence, the more chances to confuse.

Write short sentences. When you can’t write a short sentence, write a sentence with its pieces clearly delineated by punctuation.

Let’s say what the writer really meant was:Just ahead of a Senate debate on the President’s plan, he reverses his earlier statements — indicating he would own the shutdown if border wall funding was not included

The comma and the dash help us digest the meaning as we go.

As for digesting the politics, I’m not even going there. This is old news anyway. And possibly fake.

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