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Friday, June 26, 2009

Criminal Sentence 237: Errors: Just Beat It

A double error in an article about the death of Michael Jackson:

"Upon arriving at the hospital at approximately 1:14 p.m., a team of doctors, including emergency phsyicians and cardiologists, attempted to resuscitate him for a period of one hour and they were unsuccessful."

Very sad, but let's focus on this sentence.

1) "Upon arriving at the hospital at approx. 1:14"--I don't think a team of doctors arrived; they were already there waiting to treat the patient. So this is a misplaced modifier. It would be better to say, "When Jackson arrived at the hospital..."

2) That's an interesting way to spell physicians: "phsyicians."

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heard a criminal sentence while listening to BBC Radio's coverage of Michael Jackson's death.
S
"Long known as the King of Pop, Michael Jackson's career began at the age of five."


So Michael Jackson's career had its own career entirely separate from the man himself? I don't think so.

Connie said...

When does a reference to time become approximate?

The sentence says "approximately 1:14". That seems pretty definite to me. As a reporter, I would either write, "at 1:14 p.m." or something like "just after 1 p.m." It would depend on how important the time reference is to the subject the article is about.