Okay, now that I’ve finally got my birthday stuff out of the way, the Grammar Cop can buckle down and go “ew” over this week’s boo-boos.
I found these in the British newspaper, the Independent. It’s strange – I wouldn’t normally think that a country that is the birthplace of the English language, after all, would have a news outlet making these unworthy gaffes. Yet here they are.
- “…back when she was 15-years-old.” No. It should read, “…back when she was 15 years old.” Yes, I know I’m always harping about missing hyphens, but in this case they shouldn’t be there. If it had instead said, “…the 15-year-old girl went…” – then the hyphens go in, since the phrase comes before the noun “girl.” When the age phrase comes after, there are no hyphens. Look it up. 😉
- “Given neither party will leak information, Judge Karlan will then decide on…” This is awful. A better way to say this would be: “As long as neither party has leaked information, Judge Karlan will then…” Or better still: “If neither party leaks information, Judge Karlan will then…”
- “Lawyer Martin Singer maintains that his client is innocent despite 50-80 women coming forward with…” NO. Eighty women have not accused Cosby of sexual assault! More then 50, bad enough. No one has ever said “80 accusers.” (Yet!) I think this bad mistake is due to someone misreading the following statement, which appeared in another British newspaper, the Daily Mail (Mail Online): “In July, 35 out of the 51 accusers – aged between 20 and 80…” Bet you anything that’s where the “80” comes from.
Fact-checking, editing, proofreading – these are all things that are well worth spending dollars (or pounds) on!