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Friday, May 30, 2008

Criminal Sentence 27: Misplaced While Traveling

From a newspaper article about a young girl captured by Indians in the 1850s:

"While traveling west in 1851, American Indians attacked her family near Gila Bend."

The Indians were already in the west, so it was her family who was traveling there. The sentence should read:

"While traveling west in 1851, her family was attacked by American Indians near Gila Bend."

This corrected sentence is in the passive voice, which you might want to avoid, so here's another way to express this same idea:

"While she and her family were traveling west in 1851, American Indians attacked them near Gila Bend."

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