Welcome back, FF followers! This week the Grammar Cop, shaking her head in near-despair, shares a variety of gloomy gaffes with you. At least one of these perpetrators should definitely know better.
- THEGUARDIAN.COM: in a headline, no less – “How the changing media is changing terrorism.”
- MONTREAL TIMES: (another weekly
ragnewspaper) – “…have joined forces to come up with the perfect humoristic antidote to this…”
- THE SUBURBAN: “As of late last week, big-box food stores across the province will be sending leftover produce to local food banks who provide food for over 400,000 people who can no longer afford to feed themselves and their families.”
Now for the corrections:
- Please tell me, those of you who are regular FF readers, that you saw this mistake immediately. Oh please… All together now: Media… is… PLURAL! (The singular is medium.) Can you imagine: you’re a respected broadsheet daily newspaper in the UK, and you blare this error in a headline? Embarrassing. So it should say “How the changing media are changing terrorism.
- This is funny – which is fitting: I was going to say, in my haughty manner, that there is no such word as “humoristic.” But to my shock, when I double-checked in the dictionary just in case, it was indeed listed, with the definition: “Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a humorist.” Well the joke’s on them, as it turns out, because that is not the meaning that was intended in this sentence. The word that should have been used was humourous (with our Canadian “our” in there, thank you very much). The funniest thing of all (keeping the comedy metaphor going), is that the correct word, humourous, was used in the same article, in the very next paragraph! [Insert eye roll emoji.]
- Aside from this writer’s penchant for writing too-long sentences, can he not see that 1) There are too many clauses and phrases packed into one sentence – it’s unwieldy; and 2) The repetition of “who” is awkward. The sentence could be split in two and rewritten this way: As of late last week, big-box food stores across the province will be sending leftover produce to local food banks. The banks will provide food for over 400,000 people, who can no longer afford to feed themselves and their families. Prettier, no?
Editors and proofreaders needed! Urgent! Apply to your local newspapers. Enclose copies of their mistakes with your applications. [Note: Tried this. Was ignored. Will keep trying. You never know.]