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Monday, August 8, 2016

Criminal Sentence 677: The Thread Police

The Phoenix area is home to a serial shooter, who has killed seven people. I hope they catch him pronto! This criminal sentence comes from an article about this criminal:

"The thread police say links the nine incidents to one another is forensics."

When I first read this sentence I asked myself what the thread police are.

It turns out that this sentence needs a strategically placed "that":

"The thread that police say links the nine incidents to one another is forensics."

Even better would be to eliminate the "to be" verb and more wordiness:

"Police say that forensics links the nine incidents."

By the way, I wondered whether "forensics" is singular or plural. When the word refers to the discipline of forensics, it is singular.


Mo Bock said...

Thanks for 'having at' the beastly 'that' that so many journalists (in particular) leave out, probably for the sake of brevity. It's possible that these 'thats' are eliminated by editors for the same reason, who then [clearly] don't go back and read the incomprehensible, ugly result.

Ashima said...

Thanks, this was very helpful. Would you please tell me if the following version is also correct: The thread, police says links the nine incidents, is forensics.

Mo Bock said...

The correct version of this sentence is: The thread, police say, that links the nine incidents is forensics. A better version would be: Police say the thread that links the nine incidents is forensics.

The Sentence Sleuth said...

Mo is right!

Mo Bock said...

It's a minefield, but I find that reading the sentence out loud can help. :)

Ashima said...

Thank you.

شركة صيانة تنظيف said...

شركة كشف تسربات المياه بخميس مشيط