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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).

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Criminal Sentence 624: MMs still alive and well

I've been a way from the blog for a while, but today's Criminal Sentence proves that poor grammar is alive and well.

From today's paper, in a column about Arizona's immigration law and the Supreme Court's recent decision:

"After some time spent monitoring the media coverage, it became clear why."

Sorry, but that sentence is not at all clear!

Who is spending some time monitoring the media coverage? (Answer: the man who wrote the article; he's the paper's columnist about TV and movies.) He could have written any number of clearer sentences, including this version:

"After I spent some time monitoring the media coverage, it became clear why."

This error is called a "misplaced modifier" (abbreviated MM in the post's title). This blog is full of examples. Maybe one day I won't have to complain about them.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Criminal Sentence 623: Capitol?

From the joke-filled insert to "A Fish Called Wanda," one of my favorite comedies:

"Not surprisingly, Orocha, Spain is the scuba diving capitol of the world."

The word "capitol" refers to a building, such as the Capitol  in Washington, D.C.

There's also a comma error here: "Orocha, Spain is..." should be "Orocha, Spain, is..."

My apologies for being away for so long. I will try to post more regularly.