William Safire's 1999 Bloopie Awards, New Times Magazine,
18 October 1998, p.22.
Avoiding he/she and messing up; Corrections in italics.
- "You can't begin to help a client until you walked in their shoes?"
"You can't begin to help clients until you walked in their shoes?"
- "Try them for a week so your bed partner can learn to breathe
through nose, instead of their mouths."
Try them for a week so bed partners can learn to breathe
through nose, instead of their mouths. (Still imperfect.)
"Less" describe quantity; "fewer" deals with a number.
- "Ten items or less" should be "Ten items or fewer."
- World Mastercard -- more living, less limits" should be "... fewer
From an online ad for US News Stylebook
Unique spiral binding makes book lay flat for easy use.
New Yorker example
Carlsbad (NM) Current-Argus
Tuesday morning's Carlsbad Current-Argus called a charge residents pay
for 911 service a "surge" charge. It is, of course, a sir charge.
All examples from The Chronicle for Higher Education
Try your hand at catching the errors.
- From Education Reporter:
"The debate over whether Ebonics is a language is political
and largely irrelevant to most teachers. Their goal is to get students
speaking and writing standard English, whether they come to school using
a seperate language, dialect or slang."
- From an editorial in the New York Daily News:
"In Clinton's address, he made education reform the priority
for his new term. He wants to make `American education, like America
itself, the envy of the world.' Ths campaign also may be the tool
needed to close the racial gap. For education is the great ladder that
moves people from who they are to whom they can be."
- From an answer to a quiz question of why so large a percentage of
Americans are behind bars: "It's there own fault there in there."
- From This Week at UMass Dartmouth
"Understanding Addition: Progression of the Disease."
- "A native of Covington, Virginia, X has studied art ostensibly."
- A printed form from the Atlantic public schools, "Request for
Professional Refernce," asks this question (among others):
- How would you rank this person as compared to others in the
same position you have supervised?
- Top 95%
- Next 75%
- Middle 50%
- Low 25%
- Explanation of Brown University grade policy contained the
"Although there is no minimum letter grade equivalent for
Satisfactory (S), such an evaluation should be interpreted as
comparable to the A, B, C / No Credit alternate system."
1 Solecism. Webster: an ungrammatical combination of
words in a sentence; also : a minor blunder in speech. OED: An
impropriety or irregularity in speech or diction; a violation of the
rules of grammar or syntax; properly, a faulty concord. [Concord:
Formal agreement between words as parts of speech, expressing the
relation of fact between things and their attributes or predicates.]
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