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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Criminal Sentence 522: Twice in Two Years

From something I read:

"The fourth witness gave two accounts in 2001 and 2004."

This sentence seems to say that the witness gave two accounts in 2001 and two accounts in 2004, whereas I think the writer meant one in each year:

"The fourth witness gave two accounts, in 2001 and 2004."

You could also use a colon:

"The fourth witness gave two accounts: in 2001 and 2004."

Or even an em dash:

"The fourth witness gave two accounts--in 2001 and 2004."

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