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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Criminal Sentence 524: Stung

I was looking up info on honey, and found these two sentences:
"The knowledge that bee venom possesses medicinal properties has come down to us from remote antiquity. Written evidence, as well as the observations of many beekeepers and our own long experience, confirm the effectiveness of been venom in the treatment of rheumatic fever, neuritis and some other diseases.

Anyone want to tell me what two errors there are? One is obvious. One is less so.


Anonymous said...

1. Bee venom cannot possess knowledge.
I had to restart reading that sentence three times before I got it. Better to reword it:
Knowledge has come down to us from remote antiquity that bee venom possesses medicinal properties.

2. Written evidence ... confirms the effectiveness...
The aside (as well as...) does not alter the subject.
It could be rewritten thus to allow the plural verb form:
Written evidence, the observations of many beekeepers, and our own long experience confirm the effectiveness...

Anonymous said...

Error 1: 'been'. It should have been 'bee'.

Error 2: 'confirm'. It should have been 'confirms'.

This is so if the sentence is kept as it is.

Anonymous said...

Confirms and bee for been.

The first sentence is awkwardly worded but is understandable. The relative "that" clause modifies "knowledge" and tells us what kind of knowledge it is.

This perhaps would be a better way of phrasing it: Since the beginning of early civilization, man has known that bee venom possesses....

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Correct, second and third anons.

Anonymous said...

I wrote, "Since the beginning of early civilization..." which is obviously redundant and should instead read "Since the beginning of civilization...".

Anonymous said...

Isn't "remote antiquity" redundant? If not, then when did remote antiquity end and recent antiquity begin?

The Sentence Sleuth said...

I think remote antiquity is farther away from regular antiquity. Hard to say!