A sentence from a newspaper blurb about the high cost of student loans (it's a quote from someone at a financial company):
"It's clear rising student-loan debt and its larger economic impact is affecting how Phoenix residents feel about the value of a college degree."
First, I misread the beginning of this sentence, asking myself, "What is 'clear rising'?" Adding a "that" would solve that problem:
"It's clear that rising student loan debt..."
Some people feel they must delete every extraneous "that." Often, you can, but here I feel that this "that" is necessary. (And my "that" after "feel" is necessary too!)
Second, "rising student loan debt" and "its larger economic impact" seem to be two factors rather than one, so the verb "is" should be "are":
"It's clear that rising student-loan debt and its larger economic impact are affecting..."
Some of you, however, may feel that these two items could be wrapped up together to mean a singular idea. Your thoughts?
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).
Criminal Sentence Rap Sheet
- Blatant Self-Promotion (6)
- Books You Might Like (If You've Already Read Mine) (2)
- Capitalization (11)
- Dumb Mistakes (57)
- Encounters at Stores (2)
- Facebook account (1)
- Grammar (217)
- Grammar in the news (11)
- Grammar in Unexpected Places (2)
- Grammar-Related Articles (1)
- Guest post (2)
- Guest-written Episodes for Grammar Girl (60)
- National Grammar Day (2)
- poll picture (1)
- Poll Results (172)
- Punctuation (162)
- Questions from You (21)
- Questions to You (1)
- Rewriting Practice (1)
- Spelling (209)
- Style (64)
- Tips (2)
- Truly Criminal (2)
- weirdness (9)
- Word Choice (46)
- Wordiness (11)
- Writer Magazine (21)
- Your Own Criminal Sentence (1)