Monday, November 19, 2007


A headline from the Indianapolis Star over the weekend: WAREHOUSE BURNS NEAR AIRPORT. How about, "WAREHOUSE NEAR AIRPORT BURNS?" They make it sound like someone picked up a warehouse and moved it to a location near the airport, then set it on fire. I know their headline isn't exactly incorrect, but, as James Kilpatrick would say, it could have been stated with greater clarity.

Monday, November 5, 2007


From Sunday's Lafayette Journal/Courier, "For most of the first half, a typically strong group of defenders were not on the same page." A group WERE??? But a group is a singular entity. True, it is comprised of more than one, but the word is singular, therefore a group WAS. And furthermore, the group was not on the same page as what? As each other? As some other group? Clarification required, people!


Friday, November 2, 2007

NBA in New Orleans

Apparently, this year the NBA is going to have a season-long effort to help re-build New Orleans. When teams visit New Orleans for games, they will perform various community service endeavors, from building public basketball courts to bolstering learning resources in the area's schools. This sounds like a great idea to me.

But the Indianapolis Star reported that NBA Commissioner "David Stern said he is determined to do help for the city's recovery from Hurricane Katrina." DO help? Good Lord, there must be a thousand better ways to say that. How about "to help," "to assist in rebuilding," "to perform rebuilding work," etc.? Do they hire 3rd graders as writers & editors? I guess it keeps their costs down.

NBA in New Orleans

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!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Tropicana Light & Healthy

This morning, I noticed something interesting on our half-gallon carton of Tropicana Light & Healthy Orange Juice (the one that's only one Weight Watchers point): 1/2 Less Sugar & Calories. One half less??? Doesn't that mean 50% more?