Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Indpls. Star, 10/30/07

Again, special attention should be paid to proper grammar in articles about education. Yet, yesterday I found the following in an article entitled, "Six Schools Here Called 'Dropout Factories':"

Those area schools are among 1700 regular or vocational high schools nationwide where 60 percent or less of the students who enter high school make it to their senior year, according to the analysis conducted by Johns Hopkins University for the Associated Press.

First, "Here" is never a good word to use in a headline. Where, exactly, is "here?" My yard? Indianapolis? Indiana? The Midwest? The US? Earth?

Second, once again we have 60% or LESS, when we should have 60% or FEWER. Since students can be quantified, we MUST use fewer -- NOT less.

And did anyone else notice the incorrect agreement? ...studentS who enter high school make to the their senior yeaR... StudentS is plural, therefore YeaR should be YearS. A better example might be this: Last weekend 4400 people here in Indy set a Guiness Book record for the most people simultaneously dribbling basketballs, when the group dribbled from the circle downtown to Conseco Fieldhouse. It was a season kickoff promotion for the start of the Pacers' season. The Star, in all its ungrammerical glory, printed that the record was set for the most people dribbling A basketball at one time. "A basketball?" What, did one person start dribbling, and then pass off to the next person, who dribbled a couple times & then passed off to the next person, etc.? Wow, that would be an odd way to set a record. Guiness probably doesn't even have a record for most people dribbling one basketball. And what's to keep some kid from grabbing the one and only ball and running away from the crowd to take it home, huh?

A little agreement goes a long way toward simplifying our message, people!

1 comment:

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