Ask Me a Question

If you have a writing, grammar, style or punctuation question, send an e-mail message to curiouscase at sign hotmail dot com.

Add Your Own Criminal Sentence!

If you find a particularly terrible sentence somewhere, post it for all to see (go here and put it in the Comments section).

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."


Anonymous said...

I heard a criminal sentence while listening to BBC Radio's coverage of Michael Jackson's death.
"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.