Do you think the geologist (John Bellini) has problems with basic English tenses when he says, "This is considered a major earthquake. It has the potential to cause damage and casualties" there?TOKYO (Reuters) - A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 has hit a wide area of Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido, the Japan Meteorological Agency says.
Public broadcaster NHK said several people, including an elderly woman and a 13-year-old boy were injured but there were no other immediate reports of casualties or serious damage from the quake, which hit at 3:32 a.m. on Monday local time (6:32 p.m. Sunday British time).
"This is considered a major earthquake. It has the potential to cause damage and casualties," said U.S. Geological Survey spokesman John Bellini.
But he said because the quake hit a relatively sparsely populated area there would not be a lot of damage expected.
Of course not : the slight strangeness and "inappropriateness" grammatically of the quote (it is most likely referring to quakes at or over 7.1 generally, not this quake in particular) is due to the reporter choosing to highlight it over the less dramatic but more relevant indirect quote that follows in the story (which contradicts what, according to the reporter, Bellini had "said" about "the" quake in the first place).
Bad writing, huh! It's a wonder learners can make sense of the media online (I've also seen a few bad printed stories too). Careful about what you take into class!
Or do you think this is "fine" as it is - it's REAL English, isn't it, warts and all - and perhaps even something that you'd consider showing your students (if only to help them understand the "pressures" of news writing)?
(I guess that was the main question in, and point of, this post! ).
I haven't supplied a link to the "full" story because it is so long that it would affect the right margin here, but I am sure you can easily find it at: http://www.msn.co.uk/