Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Indianapolis Star, 10/9/07

"The Rockies had the second best record in the National League, and have won 17 of their last 18 games." Their LAST 18 games?!?! Is the franchise going to fold? Right here in the middle of the playoffs?!?! Perhaps, the writer meant their PAST 18 games, which would have implied that they will be playing more games in the future. Their LAST 18 games implies they will never play another game again. They've played their last 18.


Dr. Zoom said...

From Merriam-Webster. Note definitions 3a and 3b.

Main Entry: last
Function: adjective
Date: 13th century
1 a: following all the rest (he was the last one out) b: being the only remaining (our last dollar)
2: belonging to the final stage {as of life} (his last hours on earth)
3 a: next before the present : most recent (last week) (his last book was a failure) b: most up-to-date : latest (it's the last thing in fashion)
4 a: lowest in rank or standing; also : worst b: farthest from a specified quality, attitude, or likelihood (would be the last person to fall for flattery)
5 a: conclusive (there is no last answer to the problem) b: highest in degree : supreme, ultimate c: distinct, separate —used as an intensive (ate every last piece of food)

LCC said...

I'm with the good Dr. Z on this one--last 18 games didn't bother me a bit, except that it was the Rockies doing it and not the Diamondbacks.

Dr. Zoom said...

One more thing ... I should have focused attention on 3a: 3b doesn't apply here.

J said...

Mathematically speaking, "last" refers to the tail of a particular sequence.

The Ex said...

It doesn't really bother me either - it's certainly not one of the most grievous errors.

Vid said...

What bothers me is the incorrect use of a comma.

Andy Ray said...

What incorrect use of a comma?

Dr. Zoom said...

Good catch, Vid. The clause following the comma is a dependent clause and, therefore, should not have a comma before it. If it had been an independent clause, the comma would have been ok.