nuts roughly eaten may cause immortality

NUT EATERS ARE HEALTHIER, slimmer and stronger, study says,” by Mar­i­lynn Mar­chione for the As­so­ci­ated Press ap­peared at the very bottom of the front page of to­day’s Seattle Times (No­vember 21, 2013, page A1). And while the Editor-generated head­line is awk­ward enough (how about “Study says nut eaters healthier, slimmer and stronger”), I want to focus on how the in­for­ma­tion is pre­sented to the reader.

Here is the opening para­graph: “Help your­self to some nuts this hol­iday: reg­ular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease—in fact, were less likely to die of any cause—during a 30-year Har­vard study.”

Yeah yeah yeah, the em­phasis was added by me to high­light this re­mark­able state­ment! The second para­graph continues:

“Nuts have long been called heart-healthy, and the study is the largest done on whether eating them af­fects mortality.”

Well, we have al­ready an­swered that: yes, they do. The mes­sage is clear: eat enough nuts and you are “less likely to die of any cause.”

Sure, it’s poorly written and most of us un­der­stand upon reading what the third para­graph makes manifest:

“Re­searchers tracked 119,000 men and women and found that those who ate nuts roughly every day were 20 per­cent less likely to die during the study pe­riod than those who never ate nuts.”

So, yeah, that’s what I fig­ured. But, to com­pound the er­rors of this poorly wrought piece, the phrase “who ate nuts roughly” can be read as the ad­verb ex­plaining how the nuts were eaten: “I say, I tried eating my nuts smoothly but found that a bit of rough­ness makes the whole af­fair so much more effective.”

Of course, the ad­verb “roughly” is sup­posed to refer to how often said nuts were eaten.

Alas, I did not pursue the ar­ticle any fur­ther as a few bits from the bottom of my bag of my daily dose of al­monds fell in be­tween the keys of my keyboard.

Oh, nuts!—now I have to dig the wee bug­gers out. Thank Grom­mett I have eter­nity to get it done and not have to worry about nuts roughly eaten causing immortality … 

 

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