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, September 23, 2011

Criminal Sentence 602: LA Times Uh Oh Times Two

Thanks to Stephanie for pointing these two errors out.


Here's a sentence from an LA Times article dated September 21:

A law enforcement investigation tracked a delivery of potent marijuana from Northern California to a home in Kentucky where two NFL players were at when the package arrived, according to a report by California Watch.

The yellow highlighting is mine. "Were at" is my question. It sounds bad and I would rephrase it, but is there a rule against using this construction? Do you need the word at?

You definitely don't need the word "at."


Dear Bonnie,

I couldn't resist sending you this second sentence by another LA Times reporter:

Three Covina men are behind bars after they allegedly stole a 30-pack of Tecate beer from a market and attempted to escape but crashed a car and hit an employee who chased them, then one ran through a car wash and another left behind his ID.

What's wrong with the LA Times?

Good question, Stephanie!! That sentence is a disaster!


spugbrap said...

The second "sentence" has so much crammed into it that it resembles a tweet. Due to its length (241 chars > 140 char limit), though, it even fails at that!

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Agreed, spugbrap. (Interesting name you've got there!)